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DEATH OF DON QUADROS.
ANCIENT SPANISH BALLADS
HISTORICAL AND ROMANTIC
TRANSLATED WITH NOTES
/. G, LOCK HART
REPRLNTED FROM THE REVISED EDITION OF 1841, WITH NUMEROUS
ILLUSTRATIONS BY WILLIAM ALLEN, R.A., DA FID
ROBERTS, R.A., WILLIAM SIMSON, HENRY
WARREN, C. E. AUBREY, AND
NEW YORK AXD LONDON
G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS
Ubc Tknicfterbockcr ipress
The Excommunication of the Cid
Garci Perez de Vargas
The Murder of the Master
The Death of Queen Beanche .
The Death of Don Pedro
The Proclamation of King Henry
The Lord of Butrago .
The King of Arragon .
The Vow of Reduan
The Feight from Granada .
The Death of Don Aeonzo of Aguiear
The Departure of King Sebastian .
The Buee-Fight of Gazue 195
The Zegri's Bride 202
The Bridae of Andaeea 205
Zara's Ear-Rings 209
The Lamentation for Ceein .... 212
The Moor Caeaynos 219
The Kscape of Gayferos 228
Lady Aeda's Dream 237
The Admirae Guarinos ..,,,. 241
The IvAdy of the Trek 250
The Avenging Chii^de 254
Count Arnai^dos 259
Song for the Morning of the Day of Saint
John the Baptist 262
The Song of the Gai^IvEy 270
The Wandering Knight's Song .... 272
The Captive Knight and the Blackbird . . 277
Dragut, the Corsair 284
Count Alarcos and the Infanta Solisa . . 287
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
Death of Don Ouadros .... Frontispiece
Don Roderick after his Last B attire . . 31
Don Roderick and the Hermit .... 35
The Gathering 41
The Oath 43
' ' The Steei. that drank the Beood of France, ' ' 49
''And die beneath my Banner before I SEE
IT so" 61
GONZAI^EZ AND THE InFANTA 69
mudara meeting rodrigo ..... 80
Knight on Horseback 85
The Cid's Departure from Burgos ... 89
Bridai, Procession of the Cid .... 103
FuNERAi, Procession OF THE CiD . . . .110
The Cid AND Bavieca 115
Crosier AND Sword 116
The Cid crossing the Sea. The Seven Chairs 118
The Cid upsetting the Papae Chair . . .119
The Cid's Submission to the Pope . . .119
Cross and Keys 120
Garci Perez vanquishes the Seven Moors . 125
Xi6t ot HUustrations
Moorish Arms, etc. . . . . . .131
Bi,ocK AND Executioner's Knife . . . .143
struggi.e between don pedro and don henry 1 53
''With furious Grief she twists her Hands
AMONG HER ivONG BLACK Hairs " . . .163
Sabre AND Shieed 172
The Moorish Court with Assemblage of War-
Departure of the Cavalcade . . . -175
The Retreat FROM Jaen 176
The Moorish Ambuscade 187
Galleys quitting the Mouth of the Tagus . 192
Bull-Fight at Granada 197
Dying Bule 201
"Rise vP, rise up, Xarifa ! " 207
Zara at the Well 209
Interior of a Moorish Palace . . . .213
Melisendra's Descent from the Battlements 234
The Tower of Sansuena 235
The Dream 237
Combat between Christian and Moor . . 249
Knight resting from the Chase . . • 250
The Cavalcade in the Forest . . . .253
"The One IS up, the Other down; The Hun-
ter's Knife is bare" 257
Galley at Sunrise 259
%\6t Of 1[llu6tration0
' ' whii.e she was gathering roses upon her
Father's Ground " 269
''I ride from Land to Land, I saie from vSea
TO Sea" 273
"Waft eightivY through the Trees Echoes
OF MY Numbers " 275
The Knight meeting the Paemer . . .281
Spanish Captive 284
Sinking the CoRvSair's Gaeeey .... 285
The Infanta Soeisa 288
The King and the Infanta 289
The King and Count Aearcos . . . .291
Departure of the Count 293
Count Aearcos arriving at his Home . . 294
Aearcos and the Countess 296
The Countess Praying 297
Death of the Countess 299
ANCIENT SPANISH BALLADS
THE intention of this Publication is to furnish the
English reader with some notion of that old Span-
ish minstrelsy, which has been preserved in the different
Cancioiteros and Romanceros of the sixteenth century.
That great mass of popular poetry has never yet received
in its own country the attention to w^hich it is entitled.
While hundreds of volumes have been written about
authors who w^ere, at the best, ingenious imitators of
classic or Italian models, not one, of the least critical
merit, has been bestowed upon those old and simpler
poets who were contented with the native inspirations
of Castilian pride. No Spanish Percy, or KHis, or Ritson
has arisen to perform what no one but a Spaniard can
entertain the smallest hope of achieving.
Mr. Bouterwek, in his excellent "History of Spanish
Literature " (Book i., Sect, i), complained that no attempt
had ever been made even to arrange the old Spanish bal-
lads in any thing like chronological order. An ingenious
countryman of his own, Mr. Depping, has since, in some
measure, supplied this defect. He has arranged the his-
torical ballads according to the chronology of the persons
and events which they celebrate ; for even this obvious
matter had not been attended to by the original Spanish
collectors ; but he has modestly and judiciously re-
frained from attempting the chronological arrangement
of them as compositions ; i^oMva^^ of course, that no per-
son can ever acquire such a delicate knowledge of a
language not his own, as might enable him to distin-
guish, with accuracy, between the different shades of
antiquity, — or even perhaps to draw, with certainty and
precision, the broader line between that which is genuine
antiquity, and that which is mere modern imitation. By
far the greater part of the following translations are from
pieces which the reader will find in Mr. Depping's col-
lection, published at Leipsig in 1817.
It seems, therefore, in the present state of things, im-
possible to determine to what period the composition of
the oldest Spanish ballads now extant ought to be re-
ferred. The first Cancionero, that of Ferdinand de
Castillo, was published so early as 15 lo. In it, a con-
siderable number, both of the historical and of the
romantic class of ballads, are included : and, as the title
of the book itself bears ''Obras de todos o de los mas
principales Trobadores de Espaiia, assi antigtios couio
Tfiodernos,^^ it is clear that at least a certain number of
these pieces were considered as entitled to the appella-
tion of " ancient," in the year 15 10.
The " Cancionero de Romances," published at Antwerp
in 1555, and afterwards often reprinted under the name of
"Romancero," was the earliest collection that admitted
nothing but ballads. The '^ Romancero Historiado " of
Ivucas Rodriguez, appeared at Alcala, in 1579 ; the col-
lection of lyorenzo de Sepulveda, at Antwerp, in 1566.
The ballads of the Cid Avere first published in a col-
lected form in 1615, by Escobar.
But there are not wanting circumstances which would
seem to establish, for many of the Spanish ballads, a
claim to antiquity much higher than is to be inferred
from any of these dates. In the oldest edition of the
''Cancionero General," for example, there are several
pieces w^hich bear the name of Don Juan Manuel. If
they were composed by the celebrated author of " Count
Lucanor" (audit appears very unlikely that any person
of less distinguished rank should have assumed that
style without some addition or distinction), we must
carry them back at least as far as the year 1362, when the
Prince Don Juan Manuel died. But this is not all. The
ballads bearing the name of that illustrious author are so
far from appearing to be among the most ancient in the
Cancionero^ that even a very slight examination must be
sufficient to establish exactly the reverse. The regularity
and completeness of their rhymes alone are, in fact,
quite enough to satisfy any one w^ho is acquainted with
the usual style of Xh.e redo7idillaSy that the ballads of
Don Juan Manuel are among the most modern in the
But, indeed, whatever may be the age of the ballads
now extant, that the Spaniards had ballads of the same
general character, and on the same subjects, at a very
early period of their national history, is quite certain.
In the "General Chronicle of Spain," which was compiled
* A single stanza of one of them will be enough :
" Gritando va el caballero piiblicando su gran mal,
Vestidas ropas de Into, alforradas en sayal ;
Por las montes sin camino con dolor y suspirar,
I^lorando a pie desal^o, jurando de no tornar."
Compare this with such a ballad as—
" No te espantes, caballero, ni tengas tamana grima ;
Hija soy del buen Rey y de la Reyna de Castilla."
in the thirteenth century, at the command of Alphonso
the Wise, allusions are perpetually made to the popular
songs of the Minstrels, or Joglares. Now, it is evident
that the phraseology of compositions handed down orally
from one generation to another, must have undergone,
in the course of time, a great many alterations ; yet, in
point of fact, the language of by far the greater part of
the historical ballads in the Romancero^ does appear to
carry the stamp of an antiquity quite as remote as that
used by the compilers of the General Chronicle them-
selves. Nay, some of those very expressions from which
Mr. Southey would seem to infer that the '' Chronicle
of the Cid " is a more ancient composition than the
"General Chronicle of Spain" (which last was written
before 1384), are quite of common occurrence in these
same ballads, which Mr. Southey considers as of com-
paratively modern origin. ^^
All this, however, is a controversy in which few Kng-
lish readers can be expected to take much interest. And,
besides, even granting that the Spanish ballads were
composed but a short time before the first Cancioneros
were published, it would still be certain that they form
* See the Introduction to Mr. Southey's " Chronicle of the Cid,"
p. V. — (Note). ^
by far the oldest, as well as largest, collection of popular
poetry, properly so called, that is to be found in the lit-
erature of any European nation whatever. Had there
been published at London, in the reign of our Henry
VIII., a vast collection of English ballads about the
wars of the Plantagenets, what illustration and annota-
tion would not that collection have received long ere
How the old Spaniards should have come to be so
much more wealthy in this sort of possession than any
of their neighbors it is not very easy to say. They had
their taste for warlike song in common with all the other
members of the great Gothic family ; and they had a
fine climate, affording, of course, more leisure for amuse-
ment than could have been enjoyed beneath the rougher
sky of the north. The flexibility of their beautiful lan-
guage, and the extreme simplicity of the versification
adopted in their ballads, must, no doubt, have lightened
the labor, and may have consequently increased the
number of their professional minstrels.
To tell some well-known story of love or heroism, in
stanzas of four octosyllabic lines, the second and the
fourth terminating in the same rh^nne, or in what the
musical accompaniment could make to have soDie ap-
pearance of being the same, — this was all that the art of
the Spanish Coplero, in its most perfect state, ever as-
pired to. But a line of seven or of six syllables was ad-
mitted whenever that suited the maker better than one
of eight : the stanza itself varied from four to six lines,
with equal ease ; and, as for the matter of rhyme, it was
quite sufficient that the two corresponding syllables con-
tained the same vowel. "^ In a language less abundant in
harmonious vocables, such laxity could scarcely have
satisfied the ear. But, the Spanish is, like the sister
Italian, music in itself, though music of a bolder charac-
I have spoken of the structure of the redo7idillas, as
Spanish writers generally speak of it, when I have said
that the stanzas consist of four lines. But a distin-
guished German antiquary, Mr. Grimm, who published,
a few years ago, a little sylva of Spanish ballads, ex-
* For example :
" Y arrastrando luengos lutos
Entraron \.r^yr^\.2i fidalgos
Escuderos de Ximena
Hija del conde LoQano.^'
** A Don Alvaro de I^una
Condestable de Castilla
El rey Don Juan el Segnndo
Con mal seniblante lo 7niraV
But, indeed, even this might be dispensed with.
presses his opinion that the stanza was composed in real-
ity of two long lines, and that these had subsequently
been cut into four, exactly as we know to have been the
case in regard to our own old English ballad-stanza. Mr.
Grimm, in his small but very elegant collection, prints
the Spanish verses in what he thus supposes to have
been their original shape "' ; and I have followed his ex-
ample in the form of the stanza which I have for the
most part used in my translations, as well as in quoting
occasionally from the originals.
So far as I have been able, I have followed Mr. Dep-
ping in the classification of the specimens which follow.
The reader will find placed together at the beginning
those ballads w^hich treat of persons and events known
in the authentic history of Spain. A few concerning the
unfortunate Don Roderick, and the Moorish conquest of
the eighth century, form the commencement ; and the
series is carried down, though of course with wide gaps
and intervals, yet so as to furnish something like a con-
nected sketch of the gradual progress of the Christian
arms, until the surrender of Granada, in the year 1492,
and the subsequent flight of the last Moorish sovereign
from the Peninsula.
* " Sylva de Viejos Romances, publicada por Jacobo Grimm,
Throughout that very extensive body of historical bal-
lads from which these specimens have been selected,
there prevails an uniformly high tone of sentiment, —
such as might have been expected to distinguish the pop-
ular poetry of a nation proud, haughty, free, and en-
gaged in continual warfare against enemies of different
faith and manners, but not less proud and not less war-
like than themselves. Those petty disputes and dissen-
sions which so long divided the Christian princes, and,
consequently, favored and maintained the power of the
formidable enemy w^hom they all equally hated ; those
struggles between prince and nobility which were pro-
ductive of similar effects after the crowns of Leon and Cas-
tile had been united ; those domestic tragedies which so
often stained the character and w^eakened the arms of the
Spanish kings ; — in a word, all the principal features of
the old Spanish history, may be found, more or less dis-
tinctly shadowed forth, among the productions of these
Of the language of Spain, as it existed under the reign
of the Visigoth kings, we possess no monuments. The
law^s and the chronicles of the period were equally written
in Latin ; and although both, in all probability, must have
been frequently rendered into more vulgar dialects, no
traces of any such versions have survived the many
storms and struggles of religious and political dissension,
of which this interesting region has since been made the
scene. To what precise extent, therefore, the language
and literature of the Peninsula felt the influence of that
great revolution which subjected the far larger part of her
territory to the sway of a Mussulman sceptre, and how
much or how little of what we at this hour admire or con-
demn in the poetry of Portugal, Arragon, Castile, is real-
ly not of Spanish, but of Moorish origin, — these are mat-
ters which have divided all the great writers of literary
history, and which we, in truth, have little chance of ever
seeing accurately decided. Xo one, however, who con-
siders of what elements the Christian population of Spain
was originally composed, and in what shapes the mind of
nations, every way kindred to that population, was ex-
pressed during the middle ages, can have any doubt that
great and remarkable influence cvas exerted over Spanish
thought and feeling — and therefore over Spanish lan-
guage and poetry — by the influx of those Oriental tribes
that occupied for seven long centuries the fairest prov-
inces of the Peninsula.
vSpain, although of all the countries which owned the
authority of the Caliphs she was the most remote from
the seat of their empire, appears to have been the very
first in point of cultivation ; — her governors having, for
at least two centuries, emulated one another in affording
every species of encouragement and protection to all those
liberal arts and sciences which first flourished at Bagdad
under the sway of Haroun Al-Raschid, and his less cele-
brated, but, perhaps, still more enlightened son, Al-
Mamoun. Beneath the wise and munificent patronage
of these rulers, the cities of Spain, within three hundred
years after the defeat of King Roderick, had been every-
where penetrated with a spirit of elegance, tastefulness,
and philosophy, which afforded the strongest of all pos-
sible contrasts to the contemporary condition of the other
kingdoms of Europe. At Cordova, Granada, Seville, and
many now less considerable towns, colleges and libraries
had been founded and endowed in the most splendid
manner, — where the most exact and most elegant of
sciences were cultivated together with equal zeal. Aver-
roes translated and expounded Aristotle at Cordova ;
Ben-Zaid and Aboul-Mander wrote histories of their
nation at Valencia ; Abdel-Maluk set the first example of
that most interesting and useful species of writing, by
which Moreri and others have since rendered services
so important to ourselves ; and even an Arabian encyclo-
paedia was compiled, under the direction of Mohammed-
Aba- Abdallah, at Granada. Ibn-el-Beither went forth
from Malaga to search through all the mountains and
plains of Europe for every thing that might enable him
to perfect his favorite sciences of botany and lithology,
and his works still remain to excite the admiration of all
who are in a condition to apprehend their value. The
Jew of Tudela was the w^orthy successor of Gallen and
Hippocrates, while chemistry and other branches of
medical science, almost unknow^n to the ancients, re-
ceived their first astonishing developments from Al-Rasi
and Avicenna. Rhetoric and poetry w^ere not less dili-
gently studied ; and, in a word, it would be difficult to
point out, in the whole history of the world, a time or
a country where the activity of the human intellect was
more extensively or usefully, or gracefully exerted, than
in Spain, while the Mussulman sceptre yet retained any
portion of that vigor which it had originally received
from the conduct and heroism of Tarifa.
Although the difference of religion prevented the
Moors and their Spanish subjects from ever being com-
pletely melted into one people, yet it appears that nothing
could, on the whole, be more mild than the conduct of the
Moorish government towards the Christian population of
the country, during this their splendid period of undis-
turbed dominion. Their learning and their arts they
liberally communicated to all who desired such participa-
tion ; and the Christian youth studied freely and honor-
ably at the feet of Jewish physicians and Mahommedan
philosophers. Communication of studies and acquire-
ments, continued through such a space of years, could
not have failed to break down, on both sides, many of
the barriers of religious prejudice, and to nourish a spirit
of kindliness and charity among the more cultivated por-
tions of either people. The intellect of the Christian
Spaniards could not be ungrateful for the rich gifts it was
every day receiving from their misbelieving masters ;
while the benevolence with which instructors ever regard
willing disciples must have tempered in the minds of the
Arabs the sentiments of haughty superiority natural to
the breasts of conquerors.
By degrees, however, the scattered remnants of unsub-
dued Visigoths, who had sought and found refuge among
the mountains of Asturias and Gallicia, began to gather
the strength of numbers and of combination, and the
Mussulmans saw different portions of their empire succes-
sively wrested from their hands by leaders whose des-
cendants assumed the titles of Kings in Oviedo and
14 . ITntroDuction
Nevarre, and of Counts in Castile, Soprarbia, Arragon,
and Barcelona. From the time when these principalities
were established till all their strength was united in the
persons of Ferdinand and Isabella, a perpetual war may
be said to have subsisted between the professors of the
two religions ; and the natural jealousy of Moorish gov-
ernors must have gradually, but effectually, diminished
the comfort of the Christians who yet lived under their
authority. Were we to seek our ideas of the period only
from the events recorded in its chronicles, we should be
led to believe that nothing could be more deep and fervid
than the spirit of mutual hostility which prevailed among
all the adherents of the opposite faiths ; but external
events are sometimes not the surest guides to the spirit
whether of peoples or of ages, and the ancient popular
poetr)' of Spain may be referred to for proofs, which can-
not be considered as either of dubious or of trivial value,
that the rage of hostility had not sunk quite so far as
might nave been imagined into the minds and hearts of
very many that were engaged in the conflict.
There is, indeed, nothing more natural, at first sight,
than to reason in some measure from a nation as it is in
our own day, back to what it was a few centuries ago ;
but nothing could tend to the production of greater mis-
takes than such a mode of judging applied to the case of
Spain. In the erect and high-spirited peasantry of that
country, we still see the genuine and uncorrupted descen-
dants of their manly forefathers ; but in every other part
of the population, the progress of corruption appears to
have been not less powerful than rapid ; and the higher
we ascend in the scale of society, the more distinct and
mortifying is the spectacle of moral not less than of physi-
cal deterioration. This universal falling off of men may
be traced very easily to an universal falling off in regard
to every point of faith and feeling most essential to the
formation and preservation of a national character. We
have been accustomed to consider the modern Spaniard
as the most bigoted and enslaved and ignorant of Euro-
peans ; but we must not forget that the Spaniards of three
centuries back were, in all respects, a very different set
of beings. Castile, in the first regulation of her constitu-
tion, was as free as any nation needs to be for all the pur-
poses of social security and individual happiness. Her
kings were her captains and her judges, the chiefs and
models of a gallant nobility, and the protectors of a
manly and independent peasantry- : but the authority
with which they were invested was guarded by the most
accurate limitations ; nay, in case they should exceed
the boundary of their legal power, the statute-book of
the realm itself contained exact rules for the conduct of a
constitutional insurrection to recall them to their duty, or
to punish them for its desertion. Every order of society
had, more or less directly, its representatives in the
national council ; every Spaniard, of whatever degree,
was penetrated with a sense of his own dignity as a free-
man — his own nobility as a descendant of the Visigoths.
And it is well remarked by an elegant historian of our
day,^ that, even to this hour, the influence of this happy
order of things still continues to be felt in Spain, — w^here
manners and language and literature have all received
indelibly a stamp of courts and aristocracy and proud
feeling, — which affords a striking contrast to what may
be observed in modern Italy, where the only freedom
that ever existed had its origin and residence among
citizens and merchants.
The civil liberty of the old Spaniards could scarcely
have existed so long as it did in the presence of any feel-
ing so black and noisome as the bigotry of modern Spain ;
but this was never tried, for, down to the time of Charles
v., no man has any right to say that the Spaniards were
a bigoted people. One of the worst features of their
*Sismoridi's " Literature du Midi."
modern bigotry — their extreme and servile subjection to
the authority of the Pope — is entirely a-wanting in the
picture of their ancient spirit. In the twelfth century,
the kings of Arragon were the protectors of the Albi-
genses, and their Pedro II. himself died, in 1213, fighting
bravely against the red cross, for the cause of tolerance.
In 1268 two brothers of the King of Castile left the ban-
ners of the Infidels^ beneath which they were serving at
Tunis, with eight hundred Castilian gentlemen, for the
purpose of coming to Italy and assisting the Neapolitans
in their resistance to the tyranny of the Pope and Charles
of Anjou. In the great schism of the West, as it is
called (1378), Pedro IV. embraced the party which the
Catholic Church regards as schismatic. That feud was
not allayed for more than a hundred years, and Alphonso
V. was well paid for consenting to lay it aside ; while,
down to the time of Charles V., the whole of the Neapoli-
tan Princes of the House of Arragon may be said to have
lived in a state of open enmity against the Papal See ; —
sometimes excommunicated for generations together —
seldom apparently, never cordially reconciled. When,
finally, Ferdinand the Catholic made his first attempt to
introduce the Inquisition into his kingdom almost the
whole nation took up arms to resist him. The Grand
Inquisitor was killed, and every one of his creatures was
compelled to leave for a season the yet free soil of
But the strongest and best proof of the comparative
liberality of the old Spaniards is, as I have already said,
to be found in their ballads. Throughout the far greater
part of those compositions there breathes a certain spirit
of charity and humanity towards those Moorish enemies
W'ith whom the combats of the national heroes are repre-
sented. The Spaniards and the Moors lived together in
their villages beneath the calmest of skies, and surrounded
with the most beautiful of landscapes. In spite of their
adverse faiths, in spite of their adverse interests, they
had much in common. Loves and sports and recreations
— nay, sometimes their haughtiest recollections, w^ere in
common, and even their heroes were the same. Bernardo
del Carpio, Fernan Gonzalez, the Cid himself, — almost
every one of the favorite heroes of the Spanish nation,
had, at some period or other of his life, fought beneath
the standard of the Crescent, and the minstrels of either
nation might, therefore, in regard to some instances, at
least, have equal pride in the celebration of their prowess.
The praises w^hich the Arab poets granted to them in their
Moiiwachchah^ or girdle verses, w^ere repaid by liberal
encomiums ou Moorish valor and generosity in Castilian
and Arragonese redondillas. Even in the ballads most
exclusively devoted to the celebration of feats of Spanish
heroism, it is quite common to find some redeeming
compliment to the Moors mixed with the strain of exul-
tation. Xay, even in the more remote and ideal chivalries
celebrated in the Castilian ballads, the parts of glory and
greatness are almost as frequently attributed to Moors as
to Christians ; — Calaynos was a name as familiar as Gay-
feros. At a somewhat later period, when the conquest of
Granada had mingled the Spaniards still more effectually
with the persons and manners of the Moors, we find the
Spanish poets still fonder of celebrating the heroic
achievements of their old Saracen rivals ; and, without
doubt, this their liberality towards the "Knights of
Granada, Gentlemen, albeit Moors,"
" Caballeros Granadinos
Aunque Moros hijos d'algo,"
must have been very gratifying to the former subjects of
''The Baby King." It must have counteracted the big-
otry of Confessors and Mollahs, and tended to inspire
both nations with sentiments of kindness and mutual
Bernardo del Carpio, above all the rest, was the common
property and pride of both peoples. Of his all-romantic
life, the most romantic incidents belonged equally to
both. It was with Moors that he allied himself w^hen he
rose up to demand vengeance from King Alphonso for
the murder of his father. It was with Moorish brethren
in arms that he marched to fight against the Prankish
army for the independence of the Spanish soil. It was
in front of a half-Leonese, half Moorish host, that Bernardo
couched his lance, victorious alike over valor and magic :
' When Rowland brave and Olivier,
And every Paladin and Peer
On Roncesvalles died."
A few ballads, unquestionably of Moorish origin, and
apparently rather of the romantic than the historical
class, are given in a section by themselves. The originals
are valuable, as monuments of the manners and customs
of a most singular race.
Composed originally by a Moor or a Spaniard (it is
often very difficult to determine by which of the two),
they were sung in the villages of Andalusia in either lan-
guage, but to the same tunes, and listened to with equal
pleasure by man, woman, and child, — Mussulman and
Christian. In these strains, whatever other merits or de-
merits they may possess, we are, at least, presented with
a lively picture of the life of the Arabian Spaniard. We
see him as he was in reality, " like steel among weapons —
like wax among women," —
" Fuerte qual azero entre armas,
Y qual cera entre las damas."
There came, indeed, a time when the fondness of the
Spaniards for their Moorish ballads was made matter of
reproach, — but this was not till long after the period
when Spanish bravery had won back the last fragments
of the Peninsula from Moorish hands. It was thus that
a Spanish poet of the after day expressed himself :
" Vayase con Dios Gazul !
Ivleve el diablo a Celindaxa !
Y buelvan estas marlotas
A quien se las dio prestadas !
" Que quiere Dona Maria
Ner Baylar a Dona Juana,
Una Galarda espaiiola,
Que no ay danga mas gallarda :
" Y Don Pedro y Don Rodrigo
Vestir otrasmas galanas,
Ver quien son estos danzantes
Y conocer estas damas ;
" Y ei Senor Alcayde quiere
Saber quien es Abenatnar,
Kstos Zegris y Aliatares,
Adulces, Zaydes, y Andallas ;
" Y de que repartimiento
Son Celinda y Guadalara,
Kstos Moros y Estas INIoras
Que en tocias las bodas danzan ;
" Y por hablarlo mas claro,
Assi tenguan buena pascua,
Ha venido a su noticia
Que ay Christianos en Espana."
These sarcasms were not without their answer; for,
says another poem in the " Romancero General " :
"Si es Kspanol Don Rodrigo,
Espanol fue el fuerte Andalla ;
Y sepa el Senor Alca^'de
Que tambien lo es Guadalara."
But the best argument follows :
"No es culpa si de los Moros
lyos valientes hechos cantan,
Pues tanto mas resplendecen
Nuestras celebras hazanas."
The greater part of the Moorish ballads refer to the
period immediately preceding the downfall of the throne
of Granada — the amours of that splendid court — the bull-
feasts and other spectacles in which its lords and ladies
delighted no less than than those of the Christian courts
of Spain — the bloody feuds of the two great families of
the Zegris and the Abencerrages, which contributed so
largely to the ruin of the Moorish cause — and the inci-
dents of the last war itself, in which the power of the
Mussulman was entirely overthrown by the arms of Fer-
dinand and Isabella. To some readers it may, perhaps,
occur, that the part ascribed to Moorish females in these
ballads is not always exactly in the Oriental taste ; but
the pictures still extant on the walls of the Alhambra
contain abundant proofs how unfair it would be to judge
from the manners of any Mussulman nation of our day,
of those of the refined and elegant Spanish Moors.
The specimens of which the third and largest section
consists, are taken from amongst the vast multitude of
miscellaneous and romantic ballads in the old Cancion-
eros. The subjects of a number of these are derived
from the fabulous "Chronicle of Turpin " ; and the
Knights of Charlemagne's Round-Table appear in all
their gigantic lineaments. But the greater part are
formed precisely of the same sort of materials which
supplied our own ancient ballad-makers, both the Eng-
lish and the Scottish.
In the original Spanish collections, songs^ both of the
serious and of the more comic kind, are mingled without
scruple among their romantic ballads ; and one or two
specimens of these also have been attempted towards the
conclusion of the following pages.
THB IvAMBNTATlON OF DON RODERICK.
THK treason of Count Julian, and, indeed the whole
history of King Roderick, and the downfall of the
Gothic monarchy in Spain, have been so effectually made
known to the English reader by Mr. South ey and Sir Wal-
ter Scott, that it would be impertinent to say any thing
of these matters here. The ballad a version of which fol-
lows, appears to be one of the oldest among the great
number relating to the Moorish conquest in Spain. One
verse of it is quoted, and several parodied, in the Second
Part of Don Quixote, in the inimitable chapter of the
''The general rout of the puppets being over, Don
Quixote's fury began to abate ; and, with a more pacified
countenance, turning to the company, — ' Well, now,' said
he, * when all is done, long live knight-errantry ; but let it
live, I say, above all things whatsoever in this world ! '
* Ay, ay,' said Master Peter, in a doleful tone, ^ let it live
long for me, so I may die ; for why should I live so un-
28 Zbc Xamentation ot 2)on IRoDerick
happy as to say with King Rodrigo, Yesterday I was lord
of Spain ^ to-day have not afoot of land I can call mine ?
It is not half an hour, nay, scarce a moment, since I had
kings and emperors at command. I had horses in abun-
dance, and chests and bags full of fine things ; but now
you see me a poor, sorry, undone man, quite and clean
broke and cast down, and, in short, a mere beggar. What
is w^orst of all, I have lost my ape too, who, I am sure,
will make me sweat ere I catch him again.' "
" But still where through the press of war he went,
Half-armed, and like a lover seeking death.
The arrows passed him b}- ; and right and left,
The spear-point pierced him not ; the scymitar
Glanced from his helmet : he, when he beheld
The rout complete, saw that the shield of heaven
Had been extended over him once more,
And bowed before its will. Upon the banks
Of vSella, was Orelio found, his legs
And flanks incarnadined, his poitrel smeared
With froth and foam and gore, his silver mane
Sprinkled with blood, which hung on every hair
Aspersed like dewdrops : trembling there he stood
From the toil of battle, and at times sent forth
His tremulous cry, far echoing loud and shrill,
A frequent, anxious cry, with which he seemed
To call the master he had loved so well."
THK LAMENTATION OF DON RODERICK.
"^HE hosts of Don Rodrigo were scattered in dismay,
When lost was the eighth battle, nor heart nor
hope had they ;
He, when he saw that field was lost, and all his hope was
He turned him from his flying host, and took his way
His horse was bleeding, blind, and lame, — he could no
farther go ;
Dismounted, without path or aim, the king stepped to
and fro ;
It was a sight of pity to look on Roderick,
For, sore athirst and hungry, he staggered, faint and sick.
All stained and strewed with dust and blood, like to some
Plucked from the flame, Rodrigo showed : — his sword
was in his hand,
30 Zbc Xamentatton ot IDon IRo^ertck
But it was hacked into a saw of dark and purple tint ;
His jewelled mail had many a flaw, his helmet many a
He climbed unto a hill-top, the highest he could see,
Thence all about of that wide rout his last long look
took he ;
He saw his royal banners, where they lay drenched and
He heard the cry of victory, the Arab's shout of scorn.
He looked for the brave captains that led the hosts of
But all were fled except the dead, and who could count
the slain ?
Where'er his eye could wander, all bloody was the plain,
And, while thus he said, the tears he shed ran down his
cheeks like rain : —
" Last night I was the King of Spain, — to-day no king
am I ;
Last night fair castles held my train, — to-night where
shall I lie ?
Last night a hundred pages did serve me on the knee, —
To-night not one I call mine own — not one pertains to
Zbc Xamentation ot lS)on IRoDertck
" Oh, luckless, luckless was the hour, and cursed was the
When I was born to have the power of this great signiory !
Unhappy me that I should see the sun go down to-night !
O Death, why now so slow art thou, w^hy fearest thou to
smite ? ' '
THIS ballad is also quoted in '' Don Quixote." "And
let me tell you again (quoth Sancho Pauza to the
Duchess), if you don't think fit to give me an island be-
cause I am a fool, I will be so wise as not to care whether
you do or no. It is an old saying, The Devil lurks be-
hind the cross. All is not gold that glisters. From the
tail of the plough Bamba was made King of Spain ; and
from his silks and riches was Rodrigo cast to be devoured
by the snakes, if the old ballads say true, and sure they
are too old to tell a lie. That they are indeed (said Dona
Rodriguez, the old waiting-woman, who listened among
the rest), for I remember, one of the ballads tells us how
Don Rodrigo was shut up alive in a tomb full of toads,
snakes, and lizards ; and how, after two days he was
heard to cry out of the tomb in a loud and doleful voice ;
Zbc ipenitcnce ot ^on IRoDerick 33
A'^ow they eat ;;/^, now they gnaw me^ in the part zvhere
I sinned most. And according to this the gentleman is
in the right in saying he had rather be a poor laborer
than a king, to be gnawed to death by vermin."
Cervantes would scarcely have made this absurd story
the subject of conversation between any more intelligent
personages than Sancho Panza and the venerable Dona
Rodriguez. Nevertheless, there is something ver^^ pecu-
liar in the old ballad to which these interlocutors allude, —
enough, perhaps, to make it worth the trouble of trans-
lation. There is a little difference between the text of
the Cancio7iero and the copy which Doiia Rodriguez
quotes ; but I think the effect is better when there is only
one snake than when the tomb is full of them.
Several chapters of the "Ancient Chronicle of Spain,"
translated in the appendix to Mr. Sou they 's " Roderick,"
relate to the adventures of the King "after he left the
battle and arrived at a hermitage. ' '
THK PBXITBNXE: of DON RODERICK.
IT was when the King Rodrigo had lost his realm of
In doleful plight he held his flight o'er Guadalete's plain ;
Afar from the fierce Moslem he fain would hide his woe,
And up among the wilderness of mountains he would go.
There lay a shepherd by the rill, with all his flock beside
He asked him where upon his hill a weary man might
"Not far," quoth he ; " within the wood dwells our old
He in his holy solitude will hide ye all the night."
"Good friend," quoth he, "I hunger." ''Alas!" the
" My scrip no more containeth but one little loaf of
The weary King was thankful, the poor man's loaf he
He by him sate, and, w^hile he ate, his tears fell in the
36 tCbe ipenftence of lS>on 1Rot)ericFi
From underneath his garment the King unlocked his
A golden chain with many a link, and the royal ring of
He gave them to the wondering man, and, with heavy
steps and slow.
He up the wild his way began, to the hermitage to go.
The sun had just descended into the western sea.
And the holy man was sitting in the breeze beneath his
" I come, I come, good father, to beg a boon from thee :
This night within thy hermitage give shelter unto me."
The old man looked upon the King, — he scanned him
o'er and o'er, —
He looked with looks of wondering, — he marvelled more
With blood and dust distained was the garment that he
And yet in utmost misery a kingly look he bore.
"Who art thou, weary stranger? This path why hast
' ' I am Rodrigo ; — yesterday men called me King of Spain ;
I come to make my penitence within this lonel}- place —
Good father take thou no offence — for God and Mar^^'s
ttbe ipenltence of 'Bon Klobcvick 37
The Hermit looked with fearful eye upon Roclrigo's face,
"Son, mercy dwells with the Most High, — not hopeless
is thy case ;
Thus far thou well hast chosen ; I to the Lord will pray ;
He will reveal what penance may wash thy sin away."
Now, God us shield ! it was revealed that he his bed must
Within a tomb, and share its gloom with a black and
Rodrigo bowed his humble head, w^hen God's command
And with the snake prepared his bed, according to the
The holy Hermit waited till the third day was gone.
Then knocked he with his finger upon the cold tombstone ;
'' Good King, good King," the Hermit said, ^' an answer
give to me.
How fares it with thy darksome bed and dismal com-
pany ? "
" Good father," said Rodrigo, " the snake hath touched
me not ;
Pray for me, holy Hermit — I need thy prayers, God wot ;
Because the Lord his anger keeps, I lie unharmed here ;
The sting of earthly vengeance sleeps, — a worser pain I
fear. ' '
38 ^be B^cnftence of 2)on IRoDericFi
The Eremite his breast did smite when thus he heard him
He turned him to his cell, — that night he loud and long
did pray :
At morning hour he came again, — then doleful moans
heard he ;
From out the tomb the cry did come of gnawing misery.
He spake, and heard Rodrigo's voice : " O Father Eremite,
He eats me now, he eats me now, I feel the adder's bite ;
The part that was most sinning my bedfellow doth rend ;
There had my curse beginning, God grant it there may
The holy man made answer in w^ords of hopeful strain ;
He bade him trust the body's pang would save the spirit's
Thus died the good Rodrigo, thus died the King of Spain,
Washed from offence, his spirit hence to God its flight
hath ta' en.
THE MARCH OF BERNARDO DEL CARPIO.
OF Bernardo del Carpio, we find little or nothing in
the French romances of Charlemagne. He be-
longs exclusively to Spanish History, or rather, perhaps,
to Spanish Romance. The continence which procured
for Alphonso (who succeeded to the precarious throne of
the Christians in the Asturias about 795) the epithet of
'' The Chaste," was not universal in his family. By an
intrigue with Sancho Diaz, Count of Saldatia, orSaldeiia,
Doiia Ximena, sister of this virtuous prince, bore a son.
Some chroniclers attempt to gloss over this incident by al-
leging that a private marriage had taken place betw^een the
lovers ; but King Alphonso, who was well nigh sainted
for living only in platonic union with his wife Bertha,
took the scandal greatly to heart. He shut up the pec-
cant Princess in a cloister, and imprisoned her gallant
in the castle of Luna, where he caused him to be deprived
of sight. Fortunately, his wrath did not extend to the
offspring of their stolen affections, Bernardo del Carpio.
40 G^be jflRarcb of :fiSernar^o 5c( Carpio
When the youth had grown up to manhood, Alphonso,
according to the Spanish chroniclers, invited the Empe-
ror Charlemagne into Spain, and having neglected to
raise up heirs for the kingdom of the Goths in the ordi-
nary manner, he proposed the inheritance of his throne
as the price of the alliance of Charles. But the nobility,
headed by Bernardo, remonstrated against the King's
choice of a successor, and would on no account consent
to receive a Frenchman as the heir of their crown. Al-
phonso himself repented of the invitation he had given
Charlemagne, and when that champion of Christendom
came to expel the Moors from Spain, he found the con-
scientious and chaste Alphonso had united with the
infidels against him. An engagement took place in the
renowned pass of Roncesvalles, in which the French
were defeated, and the celebrated Roland, or Orlando,
was slain. The victory was ascribed chiefly to the prow-
ess of Bernardo del Carpio.
The following ballad describes the enthusiasm excited
among the Leonese, when Bernardo first raised his
standard to oppose the progress of Charlemagne's army.
THE MARCH OF BERNARDO DEL CARPIO.
WITH three thousand men of Leon, from the city
To protect the soil Hispanian from the spear of Prankish
From the city which is planted in the
liiw) ^ } midst between the seas,
K> ; To preserve the name and glory of old
";>n - Pelayo's victories.
The peasant hears upon his field the trum-
pet of the knight, —
He quits his team for spear and shield
and garniture of might ;
1^ The shepherd hears it 'mid the mist,— he
flingeth down his crook,
And rushes from the mountain like a
42 XLbc /ifbarcb of :^ernar^o &el Carpio
The youth who shows a maiden's chin, whose brows
have ne'er been bound
The helmet's heavy ring within, gains manhood from
the sound ;
The hoary sire beside the fire forgets his feebleness.
Once more to feel the cap of steel a warrior's ringlets press.
As through the glen his spears did gleam, these soldiers
from the hills,
They swelled his host, as mountain-stream receives the
roaring rills ;
They round his banner flocked, in scorn of haughty
And thus upon their swords are sworn the faithful sons
" Free were we born," 't is thus they cry, *' though to our
King we owe
The homage and the fealty behind his crest to go ;
By God's behest our aid he shares, but God did ne'er
That we should leave our children heirs of an enslaved
" Our breasts are not so timorous, nor are our arms so
Xor are our veins so bloodless, that we our vow should
^bc /Iftarcb ot JBernarDo Del Garpio
To sell our freedom for the fear of Prince or Paladin ;
At least we '11 sell our birthright dear, — no bloodless
prize they '11 win.
"At least King Charles, if God de-
crees he must be Lord of Spain,
vShall witness that the Leonese w^ere
not aroused in vain ;
He should bear witness that we died
as lived our sires of old.
Nor only of Numantium's pride
shall minstrel tales be told.
/ Jp%, J-, [
"The lion that hath bathed his
paws in seas of Lybian gore,
Shall he not battle for the laws and
liberties of yore ?
x\nointed cravens may give gold to
whom it likes them w^ell,
But steadfast heart and spirit bold,
Alphonso ne'er shall sell."
THE COMPLAINT OF THE COUNT OF SALDANA.
T^HIS ballad is intended to represent the feelings of
^ Don Sancho, Count of Saldaiia, while imprisoned
b}' King Alphonso, and, as he supposed, neglected and
forgotten, both by his wife, or rather mistress, Dotia
Ximena, and by his son, Bernardo del Carpio.
The Count Don Sancho Diaz, the Signior of Saldane,
Lies weeping in his prison, for he cannot refrain ;
King Alphonso and his sister, of both doth he complain,
But most of bold Bernardo, the champion of vSpain.
" Thew^ear}^ years I durance brook, how many they have
When on these hoary hairs I look, may easily be seen ;
When they brought me to this castle, my curls were black
Woe worth the day ! they have grown gray these rueful
Zbc Complaint ot tbe Count or SalDana 45
**They tell me my Bernardo is the doughtiest lance in
But if he were my loyal heir, there 's blood in every vein
Whereof the voice his heart would hear, — his hand w^ould
not gainsay ;
Though the blood of kings be mixed with mine, it would
not have all the sway.
"Now all the three have scorn of me; unhappy man
am I !
They leave me without pity ; they leave me here to die.
A. stranger's feud, albeit rude, wxre little dole or care,
But he 's my own, both fiesh and bone ; his scorn is ill
" From Jailor and from Castellian I hear of hardiment
And chivalry in listed plain on joust and tourney spent ;
I hear of many a battle, in which thy spear is red.
But help from thee comes none to me v/here I am ill
"Some villain spot is in thy blood to mar its gentle
Blse would it show^ forth hardihood for him from whom
't w^as ta'en ;
Thy hope is young, thy heart is strong, but yet a day
When thou shalt w^eep in dungeon deep, and none thy
THB FUNERAL OF THE COUNT OF SALDANA.
ACCORDING to the Chronicle, Bernardo, being at last
wearied out of all patience by the cruelty of which
his father was the victim, determined to quit the court of
his King and seek an alliance among the Moors.
Having fortified himself in the castle of Carpio, he
made continual incursions into the territory of Leon,
pillaging and plundering wherever he came. The King
at length besieged him in his stronghold ; but the defence
was so gallant, that there appeared no prospect of suc-
cess ; whereupon many of the gentlemen in Alphonso's
camp entreated the King to offer Bernardo immediate
possession of his father's person, if he would surrender
Bernardo at once consented ; but the King gave orders
to have Count Sancho Diaz taken off instantly in his
prison. " When he was dead, they clothed him in splen-
did attire, mounted him on horseback, and so led him
^be J'uneral of tbe Count ot Sal^ana 47
towards Salamanca, where his son was expecting his
arrival. As they drew nigh the city, the King and Ber-
nardo rode out to meet them ; and when Bernardo saw
his father approaching, he exclaimed : ' O God ! is the
Count of Saldaiia indeed coming? ' ' Look where he is,'
replied the cruel King ; ' and now go and greet him whom
you so long desired to see.' Bernardo went forward and
took his father's hand to kiss it ; but when he felt the
dead weight of the hand, and saw the livid face of the
corpse, he cried aloud, and said : ' Ah, Don San Diaz,
in an evil hour didst thou beget me ! Thou art dead, and
I have given my stronghold for thee, and now I have lost
THE FUNERAL OF THE COUNT OF SALDANA.
ALL in the centre of the choir Bernardo's knees are
Before him, for his murdered sire, yawns the old monu-
His kinsman of the Carpio blood are kneeling at his back,
With knightly friends and vassals good, all garbed in
weeds of black.
He comes to make the obsequies of a basely-slaughtered
And tears are running down from eyes whence ne'er
before they ran.
His head is bowed upon the stone ; his heart, albeit full
Is strong as when in days by-gone he rode o'er Frank and
And now between his teeth he mutters, that none his
words can hear ;
And now the voice of wrath he utters, in curses loud and
^be J'uncral ot tbe Count ot Sal^ana 49
^ -^, >T I - ■ M ''11
THE STEEL THAT DRANK THE BLOOD OF FRANCE."
50 XLbc ffuneral of tbe Count of Sal^ana
He stoops him o'er his father's shroud, his lips salute
the bier ;
He communes with the corse aloud, as If none else were
His right hand doth his sword unsheath, his left doth
pluck his beard ;
And while his liegemen held their breath, these were the
words they heard : —
" Go up, go up, thou blessed ghost, into the hands of God ;
Go, fear not lest revenge be lost, when Carpio's blood
hath flowed ;
'' The steel that drank the blood of France, the arm thy
foe that shielded.
Still, father, thirsts that burning lance, and still thy son
can wield it."
BERNARDO AND ALPHONSO.
^T^HB incident recorded in this ballad may be supposed
^ to have occurred immediately after the funeral of
the Count of Saldaiia. As to what was the end of the
knight's history, we are almost left entirely in the dark,
both by the Chronicle and by the Romancero. It ap-
pears to be intimated that, after his father's death, he
once more '' took service" among the Moors, who are
represented in several of the ballads as accustomed to
exchange offices of courtesv with Bernardo.
BERNARDO AND ALPHONSO.
WITH some good ten of his chosen men, Bernardo
Before them all in the palace hall, the lying King to
With cap in hand and eye on ground, he came in rever-
But ever and anon he frowned, and flame broke from his
*' A curse upon thee, " cries the King, "who comest un-
hid to me ;
But what from traitor's blood should spring, save traitors
like to thee ?
His sire, lords, had a traitor's heart ; perchance our
May think it were a pious part to share Don Sancho's
"Whoever told this tale the King hath rashness to re-
Cries Bernard, " here my gage I fling before TiiE i^iar's
:fi3ernarDo anD Blpboneo 53
No treason was in Sancho's blood, no stain in mine doth
Below the throne what knight will own the coward
''The blood that I like water shed, when Roland did
By secret traitors hired and led, to make us slaves of
The life of King Alphonso I saved at Roncesval, —
Your words. Lord King, are recompense abundant for it
"Your horse was down, — your hope was flown, — I saw
the falchion shine,
That soon had drunk your royal blood, had I not ven-
tured mine ;
But memory soon of service done deserteth the ingrate ;
You 've thanked the son for life and crown by the
father's bloody fate.
" Ye swore upon your kingly faith, to set Don Sancho
But, curse upon your paltering breath, the light he ne'er
did see ;
He died in dungeon cold and dim, by Alphonso's base
And visage blind, and stiffened limb, were all they gave
54 JSernarDo auD Blpbonso
" The King that swer^-eth from his word hath stained his
purple black ;
Xo Spanish lord will draw the sword behind a liar's back ;
But noble vengeance shall be mine, an open hate I '11
The King hath injured Carpio's line, and Bernard is his
** Seize, seize him ! " loud the King doth scream ; *' There
are a thousand here !
Let his foul blood this instant stream. What ! caitiffs,
do ye fear ?
Seize, seize the traitor ! " — But not one to move a finger
Bernardo standeth by the throne, and calm his sword he
He drew the falchion from the sheath, and held it up on
And all the hall was still as death ; cries Bernard :
"Here am I, —
And here is the sword that owns no lord, excepting
heaven and me ;
Fain would I know who dares his point, — King, Conde,
Then to his mouth the horn he drew (it hung below his
His ten true men the signal knew, and through the riug
they broke ;
:fi3ernardo anD Blpboneo
With helm on head, and blade in hand, the knights the
And back the lordlings 'gan to stand, and the false King
"Ha ! Bernard," quoth Alphonso, '' what means this war-
like guise ?
Ye know full well I jested, — ye know^ your worth I prize. "
But Bernard turned upon his heel, and smiling passed
Long rued Alphonso and his realm the jesting of that
THE MAIDEN TRIBUTE.
THE reign of King Ramiro was short, but glorious.
He had not been many months seated on the
throne when Abderahman, the second of that name, sent
a formal embassy to demand payment of an odious and
ignominious tribute, which had been agreed to in the
days of former and weaker princes, but which, it would
seem, had not been exacted by the Moors while such men
as Bernardo del Carpio and Alphonso the Great headed
the forces of the Christians. This tribute was a hundred
virgins per anniiin. King Ramiro refused compliance,
and marched to meet the army of Abderahman. The
battle was fought near Albayda (or Alveida), and lasted
for two entire days. On the first day the superior disci-
pline of the Saracen chivalry had nearly accomplished a
complete victory when the approach of night separated
the combatants. During the night Saint lago stood in a
\dsion before the King, and promised to be with him
ttbe /IIbaiC)en tribute 57
next morning in the field. Accordingly the warlike
apostle made his appearance, mounted on a milk-white
charger, and armed cap-a-pie in radiant mail, like a true
knight. The Moors sustained a signal defeat, and the
Maiden Tribute was never afterwards paid, although
often enough demanded. Such is in substance the story
as narrated by Mariana (see Book vii., chap, 13), who fixes
the date of the battle of Alveida in the year 844, being the
second year after the accession of King Ramiro.
Mr. Southey says that there is no mention of this battle
of Alveida in the three authors who lived nearest the
time ; but adds that the story of Santiago's making his
first appearance in a field of battle on the Christian side
is related at length by King Ramiro himself, in a charter
granting a perpetual tribute of wine, corn, etc., to the
Church of Compostella. Mr. vSouthey says that the only
old ballad he has seen in the Portuguese language is
founded upon a story of a Maiden Tribute. vSee the
notes to his '' Cid," p. 377.
THK MAIDBN TRIBUTK.
THK noble King Ramiro within the chamber sate
One day, with all his barons, in council and debate
When, without leave or guidance of usher or of groom,
There came a comely maiden into the council-room.
She was a comely maiden, — she was surpassing fair ;
All loose upon her shoulders hung down her golden hair ;
From head to foot her garments were white as white
may be ;
And while they gazed in silence, thus in the midst spake
" Sir King, I crave your pardon if I have done amiss
In venturing before ye at such an hour as this ;
But I will tell my story, and when my words ye hear,
I look for praise and honor, and no rebuke I fear.
''I know not if I 'm bounden to call thee by the name
Of Christian, King Ramiro ; for though thou dost not
XLbc /HbaiDen tribute so
A heathen realm's allegiance, a heathen sure thou art ;
Beneath a Spaniard's mantle thou hidest a Moorish
"For he who gives the Moor-King a hundred maids of
Bach year when in its season the day comes round again,
If he be not a heathen, he swells the heathen's train ;
'T were better burn a kingdom than suffer such disdain.
" If the Moslem must have tribute, make 7Hen your trib-
Send idle drones to tease them within their hives of
For, when 't is paid with maidens, from every maid there
Some five or six strong soldiers to serve the Moorish King.
"It is but little wisdom to keep our men at home.
They serve but to get damsels, who, when their day is
Must go, like all the others, the heathen's bed to sleep
In all the rest they 're useless, and nowise worth the
" And if 't is fear of battle that makes ye bow so low,
And suffer such dishonor from God our Saviour's foe,
6o tTbe /Ifcai^en tribute
I pray you, sirs, take warning, — ye '11 have as good a
If e'er the Spanish damsels arise themselves to right.
**'T is we have manly courage within the breasts of
But ye are all hare-hearted, both gentlemen and yeomen."
Thus spake that fearless maiden ; I wot when she was
Uprose the King Ramiro and his nobles every one.
The King called God to witness, that come there weal or
Thenceforth no Maiden Tribute from out Castile should
** At least I will do battle on God our Saviour's foe,
And die beneath my banner before I see it so."
A cry went through the mountains when the proud Moor
And trooping to Ramiro came every Christian spear ;
The blessed Saint lago, they called upon his name —
That day began our freedom, and wiped away our shame.
^be /nbai^cn tribute
AND DIE BEJNEATH MY BANNER BEFORE I SEE IT SO.'
THE ESCAPE OF COUNT FERNAN GONZALEZ.
THE story of Fern an Gonzalez is detailed in the
' ' Chronica Antigua de Espana " with so many roman-
tic circumstances, that certain modern critics have been
inclined to consider it as entirely fabulous. Of the main
facts recorded, there seems, however, to be no good rea-
son to doubt ; and it is quite certain that, from the ear-
liest times, the name of Fernan Gonzalez has been held
in the highest honor by the Spaniards themselves, of
every degree. He lived at the beginning of the tenth
century. It was under his rule, according to the Chron-
icles, that Castile first became an independent Christian
state, and it was by his exertions that the first foundations
were laid of that system of w^arfare, by which the Moor-
ish power in Spain w^as at last overthrown.
He was so fortunate as to have a wnfe as heroic as him-
self, and both in the chronicles, and in the ballads,
abundant justice is done to her merits.
She twice rescued Fernan Gonzalez from confinement,
^bc Escape ot Count J'ernan 0on3ale3 63
at the risk of her own life. He had asked, or designed
to ask, her hand in marriage of her father, Garcias, King
of Navarre, and was on his way to that prince's court,
when he was seized and cast into a dungeon, in conse-
quence of the machinations of his enemy, the Queen of
Leon, sister to the King of Navarre. Sancha, the young
princess to whose alliance he had aspired, being in-
formed of the cause of his journey, and of the sufferings
to which it had exposed him, determined, at all hazards,
to effect his liberation ; and having done so, by bribing
his jailor, she accompanied his flight to Castile.
Many years after he fell into an ambush prepared for
him by the same implacable enemy, and was again a fast
prisoner in Leon. His countess, feigning a pilgrimage
to Compostella, obtained leave, in the first place, to pass
through the hostile territory, and afterwards, in the
course of her progress, to spend one night in the castle
where her husband was confined. She exchanged clothes
with him, and he was so fortunate as to pass in his dis-
guise through the guards who attended on him — his
courageous wife remaining in his place, — exactly in the
same manner in which the Countess of Nithsdale effected
the escape of her lord from the Tower of London on the
23d of February, 1715.
64 Zbc :!E6cape of Count ffernan (3on3ale3
There is, as might be supposed, a whole body of old
ballads, concerning the adventures of Fernan Gonzalez.
I shall as a specimen, translate one of the shortest of
these — that in which the first of his romantic escapes
THB ESCAPE OF COUNT FERNAN GONZALEZ.
THEY have carried afar into Navarre the great Count
And they have bound him sorely, they have bound him
hand and heel ;
The tidings up the mountains go, and down among the
*'To the rescue! to the rescue, ho ! — they have ta'en
Fernan Gonzalez ! ' '
A pilgrim knight of Normandy was riding through Na-
For Christ his hope he came to cope with the Moorish
To the Alcayde of the Tower, in secret thus said he :
** These bezaunts fair with thee I '11 share, so I this lord
The Alcayde w^as full joyful, — he took the gold full
He brought him to the dungeon, ere the rising of the
66 iTbe ^Escape ot Count ffernan 6on3ale3
He let him out at morning; at the gray light of the prime ;
But many words between these lords had passed within
The Norman knight rides swiftly, for he hath made him
To a king that is full joyous, and to a feastful towm ;
For there is joy and feasting, because that lord is ta'en, —
King Garci in his dungeon holds the doughtiest lord in
The Norman feasts among the guests, but, at the evening
He speaks to Garci's daughter, within her bower, aside ;
'' Now God forgive us, lady, and God his mother dear,
For on a day of sorrow we have been blithe of cheer.
''The Moors may well be joyful, but great should be our
For Spain has lost her guardian, when Castile has lost her
The Moorish host is pouring like a river o'er the land, —
Curse on the Christian fetters that bind Gonzalez' hand !
*' Gonzalez loves thee, lady, — he loved thee long ago,
But little is the kindness that for his love you show ;
The curse that lies on Cava's-" head, it may be shared by
thee ; —
Arise, let love with love be paid, and set Gonzalez free."
* Caba, or Cava, the unfortunate daughter of Count Julian. No
child in Spain was ever christened by that ominous name after the
downfall of the Gothic kingdom.
^be :!£0cape of Count Jernan (3on3alc3 67
The lady answered little, but at the mirk of night,
When all hermaids are sleeping, she hath risen andta'en
her flight ;
She hath tempted the Alcayde with her jewels and her
And unto her his prisoner that Jailor false hath sold.
She took Gonzalez by the hand, at the dawning of the day,
She said : '' Upon the heath you stand, — before you lies
your way ;
But if I to my father go, alas ! what must I do ?
My father will be angry, — I fain w^ould go with you.'*
He hath kissed the Infanta, — he hath kissed her brow and
And lovingly together the forest-path they seek ;
Till in the greenwood hunting they meet a lordly priest,
With his bugle at his girdle, and his hawk upon his wrist.
*'Now stop ! now stop ! " the priest he said (he knew
them both right well),
**Now stop, and pay your ransom, or I your flight will
Now stop, thou fair Infanta, for, if my w^ords you scorn,
I '11 give warning to the foresters wdth the blowing of my
7f -X- ^ * * -Jf Vf
The base priest's words Gonzalez heard; " Now, by the
rood ! " quoth he,
** A hundred deaths I '11 suffer, or ere this thing shall be."
68 ^be 3S6cape of Count ffernan (5on3alc3
But in his ear she whispered, she whispered soft and low,
And to the priest she beckoned within the wood to go.
It was ill with Count Gonzalez, the fetters pressed his
Yet as he could he followed within the shady trees ; —
'' For help, for help, Gonzalez ! — for help," he hears her
** God aiding, fast I '11 hold thee, until my lord come
He has come within the thicket — there lay they on the
And he has plucked from off the grass the false priest's
Firm by the throat she held him bound, — down went the
Down through his body to the ground, even as the boar
They wrapped him in his mantle, and left him there to
And all that day they held their way, — his palfrey served
their need ;
Till to their ears a sound did come, might fill their hearts
A steady whisper on the breeze, and horsemen's heavy
^be Becape of Count jfenian (3on3ale3 69
The Infanta trembled in the wood,
but forth the Count did go,
And, gazing wide, a troop descried
upon the bridge below,
" Gramercy ! " quoth Gonzalez, ''or
else ni}^ sight is gone,
Methinks I know the pennon yon
sun is shining on.
*' Come forth, come forth, Infanta,
mine own true men they be, —
Come forth, and see my banner, and
cry Castile I with me !
My merry men draw near me, I see m}
Their swords shine bright. Infanta, -
and every blade is thine."
■ ^ •
THE SEVEN HEADS.
''TT was," sa^^s Mariana, "in the year 986, that the
*^ seven most noble brothers, commonly called the
Infants of Lara, were slain by the treachery of Ruy Ve-
lasquez, who was their uncle, for they were the sons of
his sister. Dona Sancha. By the father's side they were
sprung from the Counts of Castile, through the Count
Don Diego Porcellos, from whose daughter, and Nutio
Pelchides, there came two sons, namely, Nufio Rasura,
great-grandfather of the Count Garci Fernandez, and
Gustio Gonzalez. The last-named gentleman was father
of Gonzalo Gustio, Lord of Salas of Lara ; and his sons
were those seven brothers famous in the history of Spain,
not more by reason of their deeds of prowess, than of the
disastrous death which was their fortune. They were all
knighted in the same day by the Count Don Garcia,
according to the fashion w^hich prevailed in those days,
and more especially in Spain.
Zbc Seven 1beat)6 71
'* Now it happened that Ruy Velasquez, Lord of Vil-
laren, celebrated his nuptials in Burgos with DoSa Lam-
bra, a lady of very high birth, from the country of
Briviesca, and, indeed, a cousin-germ an to the Count
Garcia Fernandez himself. The feast was splendid, and
great was the concourse of principal gentry ; and among
others were present the Count Garci Fernandez, and
those seven brothers, with Gonzalo Gustio, their father.
'' From some trivial occasion, there arose a quarrel be-
tween Gonzalez, the youngest of the seven brothers, on
the one hand, and a relation of Dona Lambra, by name
Alvar Sanchez, on the other, without, however, any very
serious consequences at the time. But Doiia Lambra con-
ceived herself to have been insulted by the quarrel, and,
in order to revenge herself, when the seven brothers were
come as far as Barvadiello, riding in her train the more
to do her honor, she ordered one of her slaves to throw at
Gonzalez a wild cucumber soaked in blood, a heavy insult
and outrage, according to the then existing customs and
opinions of Spain. The slave, having done as he was
bid, fled for protection to his lady. Dona Lambra ; but
that availed him nothing, for they slew him within the
very folds of her garments.
'' Ruy Velasquez, w^ho did not witness these things with
72 C.be Seven IbeaDs
his own eyes, no sooner returned, than, filled with wrath
on account of this slaughter, and of the insult to his
bride, he began to devise how he might avenge himself
of the seven brothers.
" With semblances of peace and friendship, he concealed
his mortal hatred ; and, after a time, Gonzalo Gustio, the
father, was sent by him, suspecting nothing, to Cordova.
The pretence was to bring certain moneys which had
been promised to Ruy Velasquez by the barbarian king,
but the true purpose, that he might be put to death at a
distance from his own country ; for Ruy Velasquez asked
the Moor to do this, in letters written in the Arabic
tongue, of which Gonzalo was made the bearer. The
Moor, however, w^hether moved to have compassion on
the gray hairs of so principal a gentleman, or desirous
of at least making a show of humanity, did not slay
Gonzalo, but contented himself with imprisoning him.
Nor was his durance of the strictest, for a certain sister
cf the Moorish King found ingress, and held communica-
tion with him there ; and from that conversation, it is
said, sprung Mudara Gonzalez, author and founder of
that most noble Spanish lineage of the Manriques.
'' But the fierce spirit of Ruy Velasquez was not satis-
fied with the tribulations of Gonzalo Gustio ; he carried
XLbc Seven 1beat)6 73
his rage still farther. Pretending to make an incursion
into the Moorish country, he led into an ambuscade
the seven brothers, who had, as yet, conceived no
thought of his treacherous intentions. It is true that
Nutio Sallido, their grandfather, had cautioned them with
many warnings, for he, indeed, suspected the deceit ; but
it was in vain, for so God willed, or permitted. They had
some two hundred horsemen with them, of their vassals,
but these were nothing against the great host of Moors
that set upon them from the ambuscade ; and although,
when they found how it was, they acquitted themselves
like good gentlemen, and slew many, they could accom-
plish nothing except making the victory dear to their
enemies. They were resolved to avoid the shame of cap-
tivity, and were all slain, together with their grandfather
Sallido. Their heads were sent to Cordova, an agree-
able present to the King, but a sight of misery to their
aged father, who, being brought into the place where
they were, recognized them in spite of the dust and blood
with which they were disfigured. It is true, neverthe-
less, that he derived some benefit therefrom ; for the
King, out of the compassion which he felt, set him at
liberty to depart to his own country.
'' Mudara, the son born to Gonzalo (out of wedlock)
G:be Seven 1bea^5
by the sister of the Moor, when he had attained the age
of fourteen years, was prevailed on by his mother to go
in search of his father ; and he it was that avenged the
death of his seven brothers by slaying with his own hand
Ruy Velasquez, the author of that calamity. Doiia Lam-
bra likewise, who had been the original cause of all those
e\41s, was stoned to death by him and burnt.
'' By this vengeance which he took for the murder of
his seven brothers, he so won to himself the good-liking
of his father's wife, DofLa Sancha, and of all the kindred,
that he was received and acknowledged as heir to the
signiories of his father. Doiia Sancha herself adopted
him as her son, and the manner of the adoption was
thus, not less memorable than rude. The same da}^ that
he was baptized and stricken knight, by Garci Fernan-
dez, Count of Castile, the lady made use of this cere-
mony : she drew him within a very wide smock by the
sleeve, and thrust his head forth at the neck-band, and
then kissing him on the face, delivered him to the family
as her owm child. . . .
"In the cloister of the monastery of St. Peter of Ar-
lanza, they show the sepulchre of Mudara. But concern-
ing the place where his seven brothers were buried,
there is a dispute between the members of that house and
Zbc Seven 1beaD6 75
those of the Monastery of Saint Millan at Cogolla."—
(Mariana, Book viii., chap. 9.)
Such is Mariana's edition of the famous story of the
Infants of Lara, a story which, next to the legends of the
Cid, and of Bernardo del Carpio, appears to have fur-
nished the most favorite subjects of the old Spanish min-
The ballad a translation of which follows, relates to a
part of the history briefly alluded to by Mariana. In the
Chronicle we are informed more minutely, that, after the
Seven Infants were slain, Almanzor, King of Cordova,
invited his prisoner, Gonzalo Gustio, to feast with him
in his palace ; but when the Baron of Lara came, in obedi-
ence to the royal invitation, he found the heads of his
sons set forth in chargers on the table. The old man re-
proached the King bitterly for the cruelty and baseness
of this proceeding, and suddenly snatching a sword from
the side of one of the royal attendants, sacrificed to his
wrath, ere he could be disarmed and fettered, thirteen of
the Moors who surrounded the person of Almanzor.
Forty highly spirited engravings of scenes in this ro-
mantic history, by Tempesta, after designs of Otto Van
Veen, were published at Antw^erp in 1612.
THE SEVEN HEADS.
^HO bears such heart of baseness, a king I '11 never
Thus spake Gonzalo Gustio, within Almanzor's hall ;
To the proud Moor, Almanzor, within his kingly hall,
The gra}' -haired Knight of Lara thus spake before them
'' In courteous guise, Almanzor, your messenger was sent,
And courteous was the answer with which from me he
For why ? — I thought the word he brought of a knight
and of a king ;
But false Moor henceforth never me to his feast shall
"Ye bade me to your banquet, and I at your bidding
Accursed be the villainy, eternal be the shame ;
For ye have brought an old man forth, that he your sport
might be —
Thank God, I cheat youof your joy, — thank God, no tear
ttbe Seven 1beaD6 77
'' My gallant boys," quoth Lara, " it is a heavy sight
These dogs have brought your father to look upon this
Seven gentler boys, nor braver, were never nursed in
And blood of Moors, God rest your souls, ye shed on her
" Some currish plot, some trick (God wot !) hath laid you
all so low,
Ye died not all together in one fair battle so ;
Not all the misbelievers ever pricked upon yon plain
The seven brave boys of Lara in open field had slain.
*'The youngest and the w^eakest, Gonzalez dear ! wert
Yet well this false Almanzor remembers thee, I trow ;
Oh, w^ell doth he remember how on his helmet rung
Thy fiery mace, Gonzalez! although thou wert so young.
" Thy gallant horse had fallen, and thou hadst mounted
Upon a stray one in the field, — his own true barb had he ;
Oh, hadst thou not pursued his flight upon that runaway,
Ne'er had the caitiff 'scaped that night, to mock thy sire
''False Moor, I am thy captive thrall ; but when thou
badest me forth.
To share the banquet in thy hall, I trusted in the worth
78 tTbe Seven 1bea^6
Of kingly promise. Think'st thou not my God will hear
my prayer ? —
Lord ! branchless be (like mine) his tree, — yea, branch-
less, Lord, and bare ! "
So prayed the Baron in his ire, but when he looked again,
Then burst the sorrow of the sire, and tears ran down like
Wrath no more could check the sorrow of the old and
And like waters in a furrow, down his cheeks the salt
He took their heads up one by one, — he kissed them o'er
And aye ye saw the tears down run, — I wot that grief was
He closed the lids on their dead eyes all with his fingers
And handled all their bloody curls, and kissed their lips
*' Oh, had ye died all by my side upon some famous day,
My fair young men, no weak tears then had washed your
blood away 1
The trumpet of Castile had drowned the misbelievers'
And the last of all the Lara's line a Gothic spear had
borne ! "
tlbc Seven 1beaD0 79
With that it chanced a Moor drew near, to lead him from
Old Lara stooped him down once more, and kissed Gon-
zalez' face ;
But ere the man observed him, or could his gesture bar,
Sudden he from his side had grasped that Moslem's
Oh ! swiftly from its scabbard the crooked blade he drew,
And, like some frantic creature, among them all he
flew ; —
"Where, where is false Almanzor ? — back, bastards of
Mahoun ! "
And here and there, in his despair, the old man hewed
A hundred hands, a hundred brands, are ready in the
But ere they mastered Lara, thirteen of them did fall ;
He has sent, I ween, a good thirteen of dogs that spurned
To keep his children company beneath the Moorish sod.
THE VENGEANCE OF MUDARA.
HIS is another of the many ballads concerning the
Infants of Lara. One verse of it —
Kl espera que tu diste a los Infantes de Lara !
Aqui moriras traj-dor enemigo de Donna Sancha,
— is quoted by Sancho Panza, in one of the last chapters
of " Don Ouixote."
To the chase goes Rodrigo with hound and with hawk ;
But what game he desires is revealed in his talk :
" Oh, in vain have I slaughtered the Infants of Lara,
There 's an heir in his hall — there 's the bastard Mudara.
XLbc IDen^eance of /IlbuDara 8i
There 's the son of the renegade, — spawn of Mahoun,
If I meet with Mudara, my spear brings him down."
While Rodrigo rides on in the heat of his w^rath,
A stripling, armed cap-a-pie, crosses his path :
''Good morrow, young esquire." — "Good morrow, old
" Will you ride with our party, and share our delight ? "
''Speak your name, courteous stranger," the stripling
"Speak your name and your lineage, ere wnth you I
" My name is Rodrigo," thus answered the knight ;
" Of the line of old Lara, though barred from my right ;
For the kinsman of Salas proclaims for the heir
Of our ancestor's castles and forestries fair,
A bastard, a renegade's offspring — Mudara —
Whom I '11 send, if I can, to the Infants of Lara."
" I behold thee, disgrace to thy lineage ! — with joy,
I behold thee, thou murderer ! " — answered the boy.
" The bastard you curse, you behold him in me ;
But his brothers' avenger that bastard shall be ;
Draw ! for I am the renegade's offspring, Mudara ;
We shall see who inherits the life-blood of Lara ! "
82 XLbc Vengeance ot /IftuDara
" I am armed for the forest-chase, — not for the fight ;
Let me go for my shield and my sword," cries the
"Now the mercy you dealt to my brothers of old,
Be the hope of that mercy the comfort you hold ;
Die, foeman to Sancha — die, traitor to Lara ! "
As he spake, there was blood on the spear of Mudara.
THE WEDDING OF THE LADY THERESA.
THE following passage occurs in Mariana's History^
(Book viii., chap. 5) : ''There are who affirm that
this Moor's name was Abdalla, and that he had to wife
Doha Theresa, sister to Alphonso, King of Leon, with
consent of that prince. Great and flagrant dishonor !
The purpose was to gain new strength to his kingdom by
this Moorish alliance ; but some pretences were set forth
that Abdalla had exhibited certain signs of desiring to be
a Christian, that in a short time he was to be baptized,
and the like.
''The Lady Theresa, deceived with these representa-
tions, w^as conducted to Toledo, where the nuptials were
celebrated in great splendor, with games and sports, and
a banquet, which lasted until night. The company hav-
ing left the tables, the bride was then carried to bed ;
but when the amorous Moor drew near to her, — ' Aw^ay ! '
she said ; ' let such heavy calamity, such baseness, be
far from me ! One of two things must be, — either be
84 ^be TlXIleDDina ot tbe XaD^ ^beresa
baptized, thou with thy people, and then come to my
arms, or, refusing to do so, keep away from me forever.
If otherwise, fear the vengeance of men, who will not
overlook my insult and suffering ; and the wrath of God
above all, which will follow the violation of a Christian
lady's chastity. Take good heed, and let not luxury, that
smooth pest, be thy ruin.' But the Moor took no heed
of her words, and lay with her against her will. The Di-
vine vengeance followed swiftly, for there fell on him a
severe malady, and he well knew within himself from
what cause it arose. Immediately he sent back Doiia
Theresa to her brother's house, with great gifts, which
he had bestowed on her ; but she made herself a nun, in
the Convent of Las Huelgas (near Burgos), and there
passed the remainder of her days in pious labors and de-
votions, in which she found her consolation for the out-
rage that had been committed on her."
The ballad, of which a translation follows, tells the
same story :
" Kn los reynos de lyCon el quinto Alfonso reynava," etc.
THB WEDDING OF THK LADY THERESA.
"T^ WAS when the fifth Alphonso in Leon held his sway,
1 King Abdalla of Toledo an embassy did send ;
He asked his sister for a wife, and in an evil day
Alphonso sent her, for he feared Abdalla to offend.
He feared to move his anger, for many times before
He had received in danger much succor from the Moor.
vSad heart had fair Theresa when she their paction knew ;
With streaming tears she heard them tell she 'mong the
Moors must go ;
That she, a Christian damosell, a Christian firm and
Must wed a Moorish husband, it well might cause her
86 ^be me^Mng of tbe Xat)^ ^beresa
But all her tears and all her prayers they are of small
At length she for her fate prepares, a victim sad and pale.
The King hath sent his sister to fair Toledo town,
Where then the Moor Abdalla his royal state did keep ;
When she drew near, the Moslem from his golden throne
And courteously received her, and bade her cease to weep ;
With loving words he pressed her to come his bower
With kisses he caressed her, but still she feared the sin.
'' Sir King, Sir King, I pray thee," — 't was thus Theresa
'' I pray thee have compassion, and do to me no wrong ;
For sleep with thee I may not, unless the vows I break
Whereby I to the holy church of Christ my Lord belong ;
But thou hast sworn to serve Mahoun, and if this thing
The curse of God it must bring down upon thy realm and
" The angel of Christ Jesu, to whom my heavenly Lord
Hath given my soul in keeping, is ever by my side ;
If thou dost me dishonor, he will unsheath his sword.
And smite thy body fiercely, at the crying of thy bride.
Invisible he standeth ; his sword, like fiery flame.
Will penetrate thy bosom, the hour that sees my shame."
XLbc MeDMng of tbe XaD^ XLbcvcea 87
The Moslem heard her with a smile ; the earnest words
He took for bashful maiden's wile, and drew her to his
In vain Theresa prayed and strove, — she pressed Ab-
Perforce received his kiss of love, and lost her maiden
A woful woman there she lay, a loving lord beside,
And earnestly to God did pray her succor to provide.
The Angel of Christ Jesu her sore complaint did hear,
And plucked his heavenly weapon from out its sheath
He waved the brand in his right hand, and to the King
And drew the point o'er limb and joint, beside the weep-
A mortal weakness from the stroke upon the King did
He could not stand when daylight broke, but on his
knees must crawl.
Abdalla shuddered inly, when he this sickness felt,
And called upon his barons, his pillow to come nigh.
"Rise up," he said, " my liegemen," as round his bed
*^ And take this Christian lady, else certainly I die ;
ttbe MeDDiuQ of tbe XaD^ Zbcxcs^
Let gold be in your girdles, and precious stones beside,
And swiftly ride to Leon, and render up my bride."
When they were come to Leon, Theresa w^ould not go
Into her brother's dwelling, where her maiden years
were spent ;
But o'er her downcast visage a white veil she did throw,
And to the ancient nunnery of Las Huelgas went.
There long, from w^orldly eyes retired, a holy life she led ;
There she, an aged saint, expired, — there sleeps she with
f^Ti r -r^^r^'v
THE) ballads in the collection of Escobar,
entitled, '' Roman cero e Historia del
muy valeroso Cavallero Kl Cid Ruy Diaz
de Bivar, ' ' are said by Mr. Southey to be in
general possessed of but little merit. Not-
withstanding the opinion of that great scholar
and poet, I have had much pleasure in read-
ing them ; and have translated a very few,
which may serve, perhaps, as a sufficient specimen.
The following is a version of that which stands fifth
** Cavalga Diego I^aynez al buen Rey besar la mano," etc.
THE YOUNG CID.
Diego Laynez to kiss the good King^s
Three hundred men of gentry go with him from his land ;
Among them, young Rodrigo, the proud Knight of Bivar ;
The rest on mules are mounted, he on his horse of war.
They ride in glittering gowns of soye, — he harnessed like
a lord ;
There is no gold about the boy, but the crosslet of his
The rest have gloves of sweet perfume, — he gauntlets
strong of mail ;
They broidered cap and flaunting plume, — he crest un-
taught to quail.
All talking with each other thus along their way they
But now they 've come to Burgos, and met the King at
When they came near his nobles, a whisper through
them ran, —
*' He rides amidst the gentry that slew the Count Lozan.'*
XLbc l^ouncj GiD 91
With very haughty gesture Rodrigo reined his horse,
Right scornfully he shouted, when he heard them so
** If any of his kinsmen or vassals dare appear,
The man to give them answer, on horse or foot, is here."
''The devil ask the question!" thus muttered all the
band ; —
With that they all alighted, to kiss the good King's
All but the proud Rodrigo, he in his saddle stayed, —
Then turned to him his father (you may hear the words
he said) :
"Now, 'light, my son, I pray thee, and kiss the good
He is our lord, Rodrigo ; we hold of him our land."
But when Rodrigo heard him, he looked in sulky sort, —
I wot the words he answered, they were both cold and
"Had any other said it, his pains had well been paid,
But thou, sir, art my father, thy word must be obeyed."
With that he sprung down lightly, before the King to
But as the knee was bending, out leapt his blade of steel.
92 ZTbe l!?ouncj GiD
The King drew back in terror, when he saw the sword
was bare ;
'^ Stand back, stand back, Rodrigo ! in the devil's name,
Your looks bespeak a creature of father Adam's mould.
But in your wild behavior you 're like some lion bold."
When Rodrigo heard him say so, he leapt into his seat,
And thence he made his answer, with visage nothing
'' I 'd think it little honor to kiss a kingly palm.
And if my father 's kissed it thereof ashamed I am."
When he these words had uttered, he turned him from
His true three hundred gentles behind him followed
If with good gowns they came that day, with better arms
they went ;
And if their mules behind did stay, with horses they 're
XIMENA DEMANDS VENGEANCE.
nPHIS ballad represents Ximena Gomez as, iu person,
-'■ demanding of the King vengeance for the death of
her father, whom the young Rodrigo de Bivar had fought
" Grande rumor se levanta
De gritos, armas, y vozes,
En el Palacio de Burgos
Donde son los buenos homes.
Baxa el Rey de su aposento, y con el toda la Corte ;
Y a las puertas de Palacio hallan a Ximena Gomez,
Desmelenado el cabello, Uorando a su padre el Conde,
Y a Rodrigo de Bivar ensangrentado el estoque."
XIMKNA DEMANDS VENGEANCE.
WITHIN the court at Burgos a clamor doth arise,
Of arms on armor clashing, of screams, and
shouts, and cries.
The good men of the King, that sit his hall around,
All suddenly upspring, astonished at the sound.
The King leans from his chamber, from the balcony on
*'What means this furious clamor my palace-porch so
But when he looked below him, there were horsemen at
And the fair Ximena Gomez, kneeling in woful state.
Upon her neck, disordered, hung down the lady's hair.
And floods of tears were streaming upon her bosom fair.
Jlmena Demands IDencjeance 95
Sore wept she for her father, the Count that had been
Ivoud cursed she Rodrigo, whose sword his blood did
They turned to bold Rodrigo, I wot his cheek was red ;
With haughty wrath he listened to the words Ximena
** Good King, I cry for justice. Now, as my voice thou
So God befriend the children, that in thy land thou
'' The King that doth not justice hath forfeited his claim,
Both to his kingly station, and to his knightly name ;
He should not sit at banquet, clad in the royal pall.
Nor should the nobles serve him on knee within the hall.
*' Good King, I am descended from barons bright of old,
Who with Castilian pennons Pelayo did uphold ;
But if my strain were lowdy, as it is high and clear.
Thou still shouldst prop the feeble, and the afflicted hear.
*'For thee, fierce homicide ! draw, draw thy sword once
And pierce the breast which wdde I spread thy stroke
Because I am a w oman, my life thou need'st not spare ;
I am Ximena Gomez, mv slaughtered father's heir.
f Imena BemanDs Dencjeance
" Since thou hast slain the knight that did our faith
And still to shameful flight all the Almanzors send,
'T is but a little matter that I confront thee so ;
Come, traitor, slay his daughter, she needs must be thy
Ximena gazed upon him, but no reply could meet ;
His fingers held the bridle, he vaulted to his seat.
She turned her to the nobles, I wot her cry was loud.
But not a man durst follow ; slow rode he through the
THE CID AND THE FIVE MOORISH KINGS.
THE reader will find the story of this ballad in Mr.
Southey's -Chronicle (Book i., Sect. 4). "xVnd the
Moors entered Castile in great power, for there came
w^ith them five kings," etc.
With fire and desolation the Moors are in Castile,
Five Moorish kings together, and all their vassals leal ;
They 've passed in front of Burgos, through the Oca-Hills
they 've run.
They 've plundered Belforado, San Domingo's harm is
In Xajara and Logrono there 's waste and disan-ay ; —
And now with Christian captives, a very heavy prey.
With many men and women, and boys and girls beside.
In joy and exultation to their own realms they ride.
For neither king nor noble would dare their path to cross,
Until the good Rodrigo heard of this skaith and loss ;
qS Zhc CiD anb tbe fffve /Iftoonsb 1king6
In old Bivar tbe castle he heard the tidings told
(He was as 3'et a stripling, not twenty summers old).
He mounted Bavieca, his friends he with him took,
He raised the country round him, no more such scorn to
He rode to the hills of Oca, where then tbe Moormen lay,
He conquered all the Moormen, and took from them
To every man had mounted he gave his part of gain,
Dispersing the much treasure tbe Saracens had ta'en ;
The kings were all the booty himself had from the war,
Them led he to the castle, his stronghold of Bivar.
He brought them to his mother, proud dame that day
was she : —
They owned him for their Siguior, and then he set them
Home went they, much commending Rodrigo of Bivar,
And sent him lordly tribute, from their Moorish realms
THE CID'S COURTSHIP.
[See Mr. Southey's Chronicle (Book i., Sect. 5) for this part of the
Cid's story, as given in the " General Chronicle of Spain."]
NOW, of Rcdrigo de Bivar great was the fame that run,
How he five kings had vanquished, proud Moor-
men every one ;
And how, when they consented to hold of him their
He freed them from the prison wherein they had been
To the good King Fernando, in Burgos where he lay,
Came then Ximena Gomez, and thus to him did say : —
** I am Don Gomez' daughter, in Gormaz Count was he ;
Him slew Rodrigo of Bivar in battle valiantly.
** Now am I come before you, this day a boon to crave, —
And it is that I to husband may this Rodrigo have.
Grant this, and I shall hold me a happy damosell.
Much honored shall I hold me, — I shall be married well.
loo Xibc GiD'6 Courteblp
''I know he 'shorn for thriving, none like him in the
I know that none in battle against his spear may stand ;
Forgiveness is well pleasing in God our Saviour's view,
And I forgive him freely, for that my sire he slew."
Right pleasing to Fernando was the thing she did pro-
He writes his letter swiftly, and forth his foot-page goes.
I wot, when young Rodrigo saw how the King did write.
He leapt on Bavieca, — I wot his leap was light.
With his own troop of true men forthwith he took the way,
Three hundred friends and kinsmen, all gently born wxre
All in one color mantled, in armor gleaming gay,
New were both scarf and scabbard, when they went forth
The King came out to meet him, with words of hearty
Quoth he : " My good Rodrigo, right welcome art thou
This girl Ximena Gomez would have thee for her lord.
Already for the slaughter her grace she doth accord.
*' I pray thee be consenting, my gladness will be great ;
Thou shalt have lands in plenty, to strengthen thine
trbe CiD'6 Courtebip . loi
*' Lord King," Rodrigo answers, " in this and all beside,
Command, and I '11 obey thee. The girl shall be my
bride ! "
But when the fair Ximena came forth to plight her hand,
Rodrigo gazing on her, his face could not command.
He stood and blushed before her ; — thus at the last said
^' I slew thy sire, Ximena, but not in villainy ;
"In no disguise I slew him, — man against man I stood ;
There was some wrong between us, and I did shed his
I slew" a man, I owe a man, — fair lady, by God's grace !
An honored husband thou shalt have in thy dead father's
THE CID'S WEDDING.
' I ^HE following ballad, which contains some curious
-^ traits of rough and antique manners, is not included
in Escobar's collection. There is one there descriptive
of the same event, but apparently executed by a much
more modern hand.
Within his hall of Burgos the King prepares the feast ;
He makes his preparation for many a noble guest.
It is a joyful city, it is a gallant day,
*T is the Campeador's wedding, and who will bide away?
La3m Calvo, the Lord Bishop, he first comes forth the gate ;
Behind him comes Ruy Diaz, in all his bridal state.
The crowd makes way before them as up the street they
For the multitude of people their steps must needs be slow.
The King had taken order that they should rear an arch,
From house to house all over, in the way that they must
I04 ^be CiD'6 •tQc^Mn^
They have hung it all with lances, and shields, and glit-
Brought by the Campeador from out the Moorish realms.
They have scattered olive branches and rushes on the
And the ladies fling down garlands at the Campeador's
With tapestry and broidery their balconies between,
To do his bridal honor, their walls the burghers screen.
They lead the bulls before them all covered o'er with
The little boys pursue them with hootings and with
The fool, with cap and bladder, upon his ass goes pran-
Amidst troops of captive maidens with bells and cymbals
With antics and with fooleries, with shouting and with
They fill the streets of Burgos — and The Devil he comes
For the King has hired the horned fiend for twent}-
And there he goes, with hoofs for toes, to terrify the
^be Ci^'e Wic^^im ^o5
Then comes the bride Ximena, — the King he holds her
And the Queen ; and, all in fur and pall, the nobles of
All down the street the ears of wheat are round Ximena
But the King lifts off her bosom sweet whatever there is
Quoth Suero, when he saw it (his thought you under-
'* 'T is a fine thing to be a king, — but heaven make me a
The king was very merry, when he was told of this.
And swore the bride, ere eventide, must give the boy a
The King went always talking, but she held down her
And seldom gave an answer to any thing he said ;
It was better to be silent, among such a crowd of folk.
Than utter words so meaningless as she did when she
THK CID AND THE LEPER.
T IKE our own Robert the Bruce, the great Spanish
^-^ hero is represented as exhibiting, on many occa-
sions, great gentleness of disposition and compassion.
But while old Barbour is contented with such simple an-
ecdotes as that of a poor laundress being suddenly taken
ill with the pains of childbirth, and the King stopping the
march of his army rather than leave her unprotected,
the minstrels of Spain, never losing an opportunity of
gratifying the superstitious propensities of their audi-
ence, are sure to let no similar incident in their cham-
pion's history pass without a miracle.
He has ta'en some twenty gentlemen along with him to
For he will pay that ancient vow he to Saint James doth
To Compostella, where the shrine doth by the altar
The good Rodrigo de Bivar is riding through the land.
^be Ci^ anD tbe Xeper 107
Where'er he goes, much alms he throws, to feeble folks
and poor ;
Beside the way for him they pray, him blessings to
For, God and Mary Mother, their heavenly grace to win,
His hand was ever bountiful : great was his joy therein.
And there, in the middle of the path, a leper did appear ;
In a deep slough the leper lay ; to help would none
Though earnestly he thence did cry: ''For God our
From out this fearful jeopardy a Christian brother take."
When Roderick heard that piteous word, he from his
horse came down ;
For all they said no stay he made, that noble champion ;
He reached his hand to pluck him forth, of fear was no
Then mounted on his steed of worth, and made the leper
Behind him rode the leprous man ; when to their
They came, he made him eat with him at table cheerfully ;
While all the rest from the poor guest with loathing
To his own bed the wretch he led, beside him there he
los ^be Cit> auD tbe Xeper
All at the mid-hour of the night, while good Rodrigo
A breath carae from the leprosite which through his
shoulders crept ;
Right through the body, by the heart, passed forth that
breathing cold :
I wot he leaped up with a start, in terrors manifold.
He groped for him in the bed, but him he could not find,
Through the dark chamber groped he, with very anxious
Ivoudly he lifted up his voice, with speed a lamp was
Yet nowhere was the leper seen, though far and near
He turned him to his chamber, God wot ! perplexed sore
With that which had befallen — when lo ! his face before,
There stood a man all clothed in vesture shining white.
Thus said the vision : " Sleepest thou, or wakest thou.
"I sleep not," quoth Rodrigo; "but tell me who art
"For, in the midst of darkness, much light is on thy
brow ? "
*'I am the holy Lazarus, I come to speak with thee;
I am the same poor leper thou savedst for charity.
XLbc Ci^ auD tbe Xeper 109
'' Not vain the trial, nor in vain thy victory hath been ;
God favors thee, for that my pain thou didst relieve
There shall be honor with thee, in battle and in peace,
Success in all thy doings, and plentiful increase.
'^ Strong enemies shall not prevail thy greatness to undo ;
Thy name shall make men's cheeks full pale — Christians
and ^Moslem too ;
A death of honor shalt thou che, such grace to thee is
Thy soul shall part victoriously, and be received in
When he these gracious words had said, the spirit van-
Rodrigo rose and knelt him down, — he knelt till morning
Unto the heavenly Father, and Mary ^Mother dear.
He made his prayer right humbly, till dawned the morn-
MONTAIGNE, in his curious essa}^
entitled " Des Destriers," says
that all the world knows every thing
about Bucephalus. The name of the
favorite charger of the Cid Ruy Diaz
is scarcely less celebrated. Notice
is taken of him in almost every one of the hundred
ballads concerning the history of his master, — and there
are some among them, of which the horse is more
truly the hero than his rider. In one of these bal-
lads the Cid is giving directions about his funeral ;
he desires that they shall place his body " in full armor
upon Bavieca," and so conduct him to the church of San
Pedro de Cardefia. This was done accordingly ; and,
says another ballad :
Truxeron pues a Babieca ;
Y en mirandole se puso
Tan triste como si fuera
Mas rasonable que bruto.
In the Cid's last will mention is also made of his noble
charger. "When ye bury Bavieca, dig deep," says Ruy
Diaz; "for shameful thing were it, that he should be
eaten by curs, who hath trampled down so much currish
flesh of Moors." He was buried near his master, under
the trees in front of the convent of San Pedro de
THB King looked ou liim kindly, as on a vassal true ;
Then to the King Ruy Diaz spake after reverence
'* O King, the thing is shameful, that any man beside
The liege lord of Castile himself should Bavieca ride ;
"For neither Spain nor Araby could another charger
So good as he, and certes, the best befits my king.
But that you may behold him, and know him to the core,
I '11 make him go as he was wont when his nostrils smelt
With that, the Cid, clad as he was in mantle furred and
On Bavieca vaulting, put the rowel in his side ;
And up and down, and round and round, so fierce was
Streamed like a pennon on the wind Ruy Diaz' minivere.
And all that saw them praised them, — they lauded man
As matched Avell, and rivalless for gallantr^^ and force ;
Ne'er had they looked on horseman might to this knight
Nor on other charger worthy of such a cavalier.
Thus, to and fro a-rushing, the fierce and furious steed,
He snapped in twain his hither rein — "God pity now
the Cid !—
God pity Diaz ! " cried the Lords, — but when they looked
They saw Ruy Diaz ruling him, with the fragment of his
They saw him proudh' ruling with gesture firm and
Like a true lord commanding, — and obeyed as by a
And so he led him foaming and panting to the King, —
But "No!" said Don Alphonso, "it were a shameful
That peerless Bavieca should ever be bestrid
By any mortal but Bivar, — mount, mount again, my
THE EXCOMMUXICATIOX OF
c'^^ 'T~^HE last specimen I shall give of
nf A 1)^^ Q[^ ballads is one, the sub-
ject of which is evidently of the most),
apocryphal cast. It is, however, soj
far as I recollect, the only one of all
that immense collection that is quoted \
or alluded to in ' ' Don Quixote. " ' ' San-
Ill cho, " cried the knight, " I am afraid of
■' ^' being excommunicated for having laid
violent hands upon a man in holy orders, Juxta illud ; si
quis stiadente diabolo, etc. But yet, now I think better
on it, I never touched him with my hands, but only with
Cbe :£rcommunicatton ot tbc CiD
my lance ; besides, I did not in the least suspect I had to
do with priests, whom I honor and revere as every good
Catholic and faithful Christian ought to do, but rather
took them to be evil spirits. Well, let the worst come
to the worst, I remember w^hat befel the Cid Ruy Diaz,
when he broke to pieces the chair of a king's ambassador
in the Pope's presence, for which he was excommuni-
cated ; which did not hinder the worthy Rodrigo de Bivar
from behaving himself that day like a valorous knight,
and a man of honor."
THE EXCOMMUNICATION OF
IT was when from Spain across th'^
main the Cid had come to Rome,
He chanced to see chairs four and three
beneath Saint Peter's dome :
'*Now tell, I pray, what chairs be
they ? " — " Seven kings do sit
well doth suit, all at the foot of the
holy Father's throne.
' ' The Pope he sitteth above them all,
that they may kiss his toe.
Below the Keys the Flower- de-lys doth
make a gallant show ;
XLbc Excommunication ot tbe CiD
For his great puissance, the King
of France next to the Pope
The rest more low, all in a row,
as doth their station fit. ' '
" Ha ! " quoth the Cid, '' now, God
forbid ! it is a shame, I wiss.
To see the Castle planted below
No harm, I hope, good Father
Pope, — although I move thy
— In pieces small he kicked it all
('t was of the ivory fair). — ■
The Pope's own seat he from
his feet did kick it far
And the Spanish chair he
planted upon its place
that day ;
Above them all he planted
it, and laughed right
Look sour and bad I trow
he had, as grim as grim
Cbe jEjcommunication of tbe CiD
Now when the Pope was aware of this,
he was an angry man,
His lips that night, with solemn rite,
pronounced the awful ban.
The curse of God, who died on rood,
was on the sinner's head ;
To hell and woe man's soul must go
if once that curse be said.
I wot, when the Cid was aware of
this, a woful man was he,
At dawn of day he came to pray at
the blessed Father's knee :
** Absolve me, blessed Father ! have
pity on my prayer.
Absolve my soul and penance I for my
sin will bear."
*' Who is this sinner," quoth the Pope,
"that at my foot doth kneel ? "
' ' I am Rodrigo Diaz — a poor baron of
Much marvelled all were in the hall,
when that name they heard him
''Rise up, rise up ! " the Pope he said,
*'I do thy guilt away; —
Zbc jEjcommunication ot tbe GID
''I do thy guilt away," he said, — "my curse I blot it
God save Rodrigo Diaz, my Christian champion stout :
I trow, if I had known thee, my grief it had been sore,
To curse Ruy Diaz de Bivar, God's scourge upon the
GARCI PEREZ DE VARGAS.
THE crowns of Castile and Leon being at length joined
in the person of King Ferdinand, surnamed £1
Santo^ the authority of the Moors in Spain was destined
to receive many severe blow^s from the united efforts of
two Christian states, which had in former times too often
exerted their vigor against each other. The most impor-
tant event of King Ferdinand's reign was the conquest of
Seville, which great city yielded to his arms in the year
1238, after sustaining a long and arduous siege of sixteen
Don Garci Perez de Vargas was one of the most dis-
tinguished warriors who on this occasion fought under the
banners of Ferdinand ; and accordingly there are many
ballads of which he is a hero. The incident celebrated in
that which follows, is thus told, w^ith a few variations, in
Mariana (Book xiii., chap. 7).
" Above all others, there signalized himself in these af-
(Barci Iperes De IDar^ae 123
fairs that Garci Perez de Vargas, a native of Toledo, of
whose valor so many marvellous, and almost incredible
achievements are related. One day, about the beginning
of the siege, this Garci, and another with him, were riding
by the side of the river, at some distance from the out-
posts, when, of a sudden, there came upon them a party of
seven Moors on horseback. The companion of Perez was
for returning immediately, but he replied, that never, even
though he should lose his life for it, w^ould he consent to
the baseness of flight. With that, his companion riding
off, Perez armed himself, closed his visor, and put his lance
in the rest. But the enemies, w^hen they knew who it
was, declined the combat.
'' He had therefore pursued his way by himself for some
space, when he perceived, that in lacing the headpiece
and shutting the visor, he had, by inadvertence, dropped
his scarf. He immediately returned upon his steps that
he might seek for it. The King, as it happened, had his
eyes upon Perez all the time, for the royal tent looked
towards the place where he w^as riding ; and he never
doubted that the Knight had turned back for the purpose
of provoking the Moors to the combat. But they avoided
him as before, and he, having regained his scarf, came in
safety to the camp.
124 i3arci lpere3 ^e IDarciae
" The honor of the action was much increased by this
circumstance, that, although frequently pressed to disclose
the name of the gentleman ^vho had deserted him in that
moment of danger, Perez would never consent to do so,
for his modesty was equal to his bravery. ' '
A little farther on, Mariana relates, that Garci Perez had
a dispute with another gentleman, who thought proper to
assert that Garci had no right to assume the coat-of-arms
which he wore: ''A sally having been made by the
Moors, that gentleman, among many more, made his es-
cape, but Garci stood firm to his post, and never came
back to the camp until the Moors were driven again
into the city. He came with his shield all bruised and
battered to the place where the gentleman was standing,
and pointing to the effaced bearing which was on it, said :
* Indeed, sir, it must be confessed that you show more
respect than I do to this same coat-of-arms, for you keep
yours bright and unsullied, while mine is sadly discolor-
ed.' The gentleman was sorely ashamed, and henceforth
Garci Perez bore his achievement without gainsaying or
dispute, ' '
GARCI PBRBZ DB VARGAS.
KING FERDINAND alone did stand one day upon the
Surveying all his leaguer, and the ramparts of Seville ;
The sight was grand, when Ferdinand by proud Seville
O'er tower and tree far off to see the Christian banners
Down chanced the King his eye to fling, where far the
Two gentlemen along the glen were riding soft and slow.
As void of fear each cavalier seemed to be riding there.
As some strong hound may pace around the roebuck's
126 (Bare! Ipere3 t)c IDar^as
It was Don Garci Perez, and he would breathe the air,
And he had ta'en a knight with him, that as lief had been
P'or soon this knight to Garci said: "Ride, ride we, or
we 're lost !
I see the glance of helm and lance, — it is the Moorish
The Lord of Vargas turned him round, his trusty squire
was near, —
The helmet on his brow he bound, his gauntlets grasped
his spear ;
With that upon his saddle-tree he planted him right
•'Now come," quoth he, ''whoe'er they be, I throw
they '11 find us ready."
By this the knight who rode with him had turned his
And up the glen in fearful trim unto the camp had fled.
" Ha ! gone? " quoth Garci Perez ; — he smiled, and said
But slowly, with his esquire, rode as he rode before.
It was the Count Lorenzo, just then it happened so.
He took his stand by Ferdinand, and with him gazed
(3atci ipcre3 De IDar^aa 127
'' My liege," quoth he, "seven Moors I see a-coming from
Now bring they all the blows they may, I trow they '11
find as good ;
But it is Don Garci Perez, — if his cognizance they know,
I guess it will be little pain to give them blow for blow\"
The Moors from forth the greenwood came riding one by
A gallant troop with armor resplendent in the sun ;
Full haughty was their bearing, as o'er the sward they
While the calm Lord of Vargas his march was still the
They stood drawn up in order, while past them all
For when upon his shield they saw the sable blazonry.
And the wings of the Black Eagle, that o'er his crest was
They knew Don Garci Perez, and never word they said.
He took the casque from off his head, and gave it to the
"My friend," quoth he, "no need I see why I my brows
But as he doffed the helmet, he saw his scarf was gone,
"I 've dropped it sure," quoth Garci, " when I put my
128 (3arct lpere3 Oe IDargas
He looked around and saw the scarf, for still the Moors
And they had picked it from the sward, and looped it on
a spear ;
" These Moors," quoth Garci Perez, "uncourteous Moors
they be, —
Now, by my soul, the scarf they stole, yet durst not ques-
tion me !
^'Now, reach once more my helmet." The squire said
*' For a silken string why should you fling perchance
your life away ? "
" I had it from my lady," quoth Garci, '* long ago.
And never Moor that scarf, be sure, in proud Seville shall
show. ' '
But when the Moslem saw him, they stood in fine array,
He rode among their armed throng, he rode right
''Stand, stand ye thieves and robbers, lay down my
lady's pledge ! "
He cried, — and ever as he cried they felt his falchion 's edge.
That day the Lord of Vargas came to the camp alone ;
The scarf, his lady's largess, around his breast was thrown ;
Bare was his head, his sword was red, and from his pom-
Seven turbans green, sore hacked I ween, before Don
A BALIvAD concerning another doughty knight of the
same family, and most probably, considering the
date, a brother of Garci Perez de Vargas. Its story is
thus alluded to in " Don Quixote," in the chapter of the
*' However, the loss of his lance was no small affliction
to him ; and as he was making his complaint about it to
his squire, 'I have read,' said he, 'friend vSancho, that a
certain Spanish knight, w^hose name was Diego Perez de
Vargas, having broken his sw^ord in the heat of an en-
gagement, pulled up by the roots a wild olive tree, or at
least, tore down a massy branch, and did such wonderful
execution, crushing and grinding so many Moors with it
that day, that he w^on himself and his posterity the sur-
name of The Pounder, or Bruiser. \_3Iachiica from 3fa-
chiccar, to pound as in a mortar.] I tell this, because I
intend to tear up the next oak, or holm tree, we meet ;
with the trunk w^hereof I hope to perform such wondrous
deeds that thou wilt esteem thyself particularly happy in
ha\ing had the honor to behold them, and been the
ocular witness of achievements which posterity will
scarce be able to believe. ' Heaven grant you may ! ' cried
Sancho ; * I believe it all, because your worship says it. ' '^
THK Christians have beleaguered the
famous walls of Xeres,
Among them are Don Alvar and Dou ///
And many other gentlemen, who,
day succeeding day,
Give challenge to the Saracen and
all his chivalrv.
When rages the hot battle before
the gates of Xeres,
By trace of gore ye may explore the /
dauntless path of Perez.
No knight like Don Diego, — no sword like his is found
In all the host, to hew the boast of Paynims to the ground.
It fell one day when furiously they battled on the plain,
Diego shivered both his lance and trusty blade in twain ;
132 Cbe ipounDer
The Moors that saw it shouted, for esquire none was near,
To serve Diego at his need with falchion, mace, or spear.
Loud, loud he blew his bugle, sore troubled was his eye,
But by God's grace before his face there stood a tree full
An olive tree with branches strong, close by the wall of
"Yon goodly bough will serve, I trow," quoth Don Diego
A gnarled branch he soon did wrench now from that olive
Which o'er his headpiece brandishing, he spurs among
God wot ! full many a Pagan must in his saddle reel ! —
What leech may cure, what beadsman shrive, if once
that weight ye feel ?
But when Don Alvarsawhim thus bruising down the foe.
Quoth he, "I've seen some flail-armed man belabor
Sure mortal mould did ne'er enfold such mastery of
Let 's call Diego Perez The Pounder, from this hour."
THE MURDKR OF THE MASTER.
THE next four ballads relate to the history of Don
Pedro, King of Castile, called ''The Cruel."
An ingenious person not long ago published a work,
the avowed purpose of which was to prove that Tiberius
was a humane and contemplative prince, who retired to
the Island of Capreae only that he might the better in-
dulge in the harmless luxury of philosophic meditation :
— and, in like manner, Pedro the Cruel has found, in
these latter times, his defenders and apologists, above
There may be traced, without doubt, in the circum-
stances which attended his accession, something to pal-
liate the atrocity of several of his bloody acts. His father
had treated his mother with contempt. He had not only
entertained, as his mistress, in her lifetime, a lady of the
powerful family of Guzman, but actually proclaimed that
lady his queen, and brought up her sons as princes in
134 tTbe /nSurfeer of tbe /Iftastcr
his palace ; nay, he had even betrayed some intentions
of ^dolating, in their favor, the order of succession, and
the rights of Pedro. And, accordingly, no sooner was
Alphonso dead, and Pedro acknowledged by the nobility,
than Leonora de Guzman, and her sons, whether from
consciousness of guilt, or from fear of violence, or from
both of these causes, betook themselves to various places
of strength, where they endeavored to defend themselves
against the authority of the new king. After a little time,
matters were accommodated by the interference of friends,
and Dona Leonora took up her residence at Seville ; but
Pedro was suddenly, while in that city, seized with a dis-
temper which his physicians said must, in all probability,
have a mortal termination ; and during his confinement,
(which lasted for several weeks) many intrigues were set
afoot, and the pretensions of various candidates for the
throne openly canvassed among the nobility of Castile.
Whether the King had, on his recovery, discovered any
thing indicative of treasonous intentions in the recent
conduct of Leonora and her family (which, all things con-
sidered, seems not improbable), or whether he merely
suffered himself, as was said at the time, to be over-per-
suaded by the vindictive arguments of his own mother,
the queen-dowager, the fact is certain, that in the course
tibe /Iftur^er of tbe /llbaeter 135
of a few days, Dona Leonora was arrested, and put to
death by Pedro's command, in the Castle of Talaveyra.
Don Fadrique, or Frederick, one of her sons, who had ob-
tained the dignity of Master of the Order of St. lago, fled
upon this into Portugal, and fortified himself in the city
of Coimbra ; while another of them, Don Enrique, or
Henry, Lord of Trastamara, took refuge at the Court of
Arragon, openly renouncing his allegiance to the crow^n
of Castile, and professing himself henceforth, in all
things, the subject and vassal of the prince who gave him
Henry of Trastamara was, from this time, the declared
and active enemy of his brother ; and in consequence of
his influence, and that of his mother's kindred, but most
of all, in consequence of Don Pedro's own atrocious pro-
ceedings, Castile itself was filled w^ith continual tumults
Don Fadrique, however, made his peace wnth Pedro.
After a lapse of many months, he was invited to come to
the court at Seville, and take his share in the amusements
of an approaching tournament. He accepted the invita-
tion, but was received with terrible coldness, and imme-
diately executed within the palace. The friends of Pedro
asserted that the King had that very day detected Don
136 ^be /nburDer of the Aaetcr
Fadrique in a correspondence with his brother Henry and
the Arragonese ; while popular belief attributed the
slaughter of the Master to the unhappy influence which
the too-celebrated Maria de Padilla had long ere this be-
gun to exercise over Pedro's mind.
Maria was often, in consequence of her close intimacy
with Jews, called by the name of their hated race ; but she
was in reality not only of Christian, but of noble descent
in Spain. However that might be, Pedro found her in the
family of his minister, Albuquerque, where she had been
brought up, loved her with all the violence of his temper,
and made her his w4fe in all things but the name. Al-
though political motives induced him, not long after-
wards, to contract an alliance with a princess of the
French blood royal, — the unfortunate Blanche of Bour-
bon, — he lived with the young queen but a few days, and
then deserted her for ever, for the sake of this beautiful,
jealous, and imperious mistress, whom he declared to be
his true wife.
The reader will observe that there is a strange peculi-
arity in the structure of the ballad which narrates the
murder of the Master of St. lago. The unfortunate Fad-
rique is introduced at the beginning of it as telling his
own story, and so he carries it on, in the first person,
^be /llburt)cr ot tbe /Iftastcr
until the order for his execution is pronounced by Pedro.
The sequel is given as if by another voice. I can suppose
this singularity to have had a musical origin.
The Master was slain in the year 1358.
THE MURDER OF THE MASTER.
I SAT alone in Coimbra — the town myself had ta'en,
When came into my chamber, a messenger from
There was no treason in his look, an honest look he
I from his hand the letter took, — my brother's seal it
'' Come, brother dear, the day draws near " ('t was thus
bespoke the King),
' For plenar court and knightly sport, within the listed
Alas ! unhappy Master, I easy credence lent ;
Alas ! for fast and faster I at his bidding went.
When I set off from Coimbra, and passed the bound of
I had a goodly company of spearmen in my train ;
A gallant force, a score of horse, andsturdy mules thirteen ;
With joyful heart I held my course, — my years were
young and green.
XLbc /nbur^et of tbe /iRaster 139
A journey of good fifteen days within the week was done,
I halted not, though signs I got, dark tokens many a
A strong stream mastered horse and mule, — I lost my
poniard fine, —
And left a page within the pool — a faithful page of mine.
Yet on to proud Seville I rode ; when to the gate I came.
Before me stood a man of God, to warn me from the same ;
The words he spake I would not hear, his grief I would
I seek, said I, my brother dear, — I will not stop for thee.
No lists were closed upon the sand, for royal tourney
No pawing horse was seen to stand, — I saw no armed
Yet aye I gave my mule the spur, and hastened through
I stopped before his palace-door, then gayly leapt I down.
They shut the door, — my trusty score of friends were left
I would not hear their whispered fear, no harm was in
I greeted Pedro, but he turned, I wot his look was cold ;
His brother from his knee he spurned — "Stand off, thou
Master bold !
I40 XLbc /Iftur^er of tbe /llbaster
" Stand off, stand off, thou traitor strong ! " — 't was thus
he said to me,
'' Thy time on earth shall not be long, — what brings thee
to my knee ?
My lady craves a new-year's gift, and I will keep my
Th}' head methinks may serve the shift, — Good yeoman,
draw thy sword ! ' '
The Master lay upon the floor ere well that word was said,
Then in a charger off they bore his pale and bloody head.
They brought it to Padilla's chair, — they bowed them on
the knee ;
''King Pedro greets thee, lady fair, his gift he sends to
She gazed upon the Master's head, her scorn it could not
And cruel were the words she said, and proud her glances
were : —
"Thou now shalt pay, thou traitor base ! the debt of mau}^
a year ;
My dog shall lick that haughty face ; no more that lip
She seized it by the clotted hair, and o'er the window
The mastiff smelt it in his lair, forth at her cr)- he sprung.
^be /nburder of tbe /llbaeter 141
The mastiff that had crouched so low to lick the Master's
He tossed the morsel to and fro, and licked it on the sand.
And ever as the mastiff tore, his bloody teeth were shown,
With growl and snort he made his sport, and picked it to
the bone ;
The baying of the beast was loud, and swiftly on the
There gathered round a gaping crowd, to see the mastiff
Then out and spake King Pedro, ''What governance is
The rabble rout, m}'^ gate without, torment my dogs, I
Then out and spake King Pedro's page, "It is the
Master's head ;
The mastiff tears it in his rage, — therewith they him have
Then out and spake the ancient nurse, that nursed the
*' On thee, King Pedro, lies the curse, — thy brother thou
hast slain ;
A thousand harlots there may be within the realm of
But where is she can give to thee thy brother back
again ? "
142 XLbc /llburDer of tbe /IRaster
Came darkness o'er King Pedro's brow, when thus he
heard her say ;
He sorely rued the accursed vow he had fulfilled that
He passed unto his paramour, where on her couch she
Leaning from out her painted bower, to see the mastiff's
He drew her to a dungeon dark, a dungeon strong and
'* My father's son lies stiff and stark, and there are few to
Fadrique's blood for vengeance calls, his cry is in mine
Thou art the cause, thou harlot false ! in darkness lie thou
THE DEATH OF QUEEN BLANCHE.
THAT Pedro was accessary to the violent death of this
young and innocent princess whom he had married,
and immediately afterwards deserted forever, there can be
no doubt. This atrocious deed was avenged abundantly ;
for it certainly led, in the issue, to the downfall and death
of Pedro himself. Mariana says, very briefly, that the
injuries sustained by Queen Blanche had so much offended
many of Pedro's own nobility, that they drew up a for-
mal remonstrance, and presented it to him in a style
sufficiently formidable ; and that he, his proud and
fierce temper being stung to madness by what he con-
sidered an unjustifiable interference with his domestic
concerns, immediately gave orders for the poisoning of
Blanche in her prison.
144 ^be 2>eatb ot (aueen JBlancbe
In the old French memoirs of Du Guesclin, a much
more improbable story is told at great length. The Queen
Blanche, according to his account, had been banished to
the Castle of Medina Sidonia, the adjoining territory being
assigned to her for her maintenance. One of her vassals,
a Jew, presumed to do his homage in the usual fashion,
that is, by kissing Blanche on the cheek, ere his true
character was suspected either by her or her attendants.
No sooner was the man known to be a Jew, than he was
driven from the presence of the Queen with every mark of
insult ; and this sunk so deeply into his mind, that he
determined to revenge himself, if possible, by the death
of Blanche. He told his story to Maria de Padilla, who
prevailed on the King to suffer him to take his own
measures; and he accordingly surprised the castle by
night, at the head of a troop of his own countrymen, and
butchered the unhappy lady.
The ballad itself is, in all likelihood, as trustworthy
as any other authority ; the true particulars of such a
crime were pretty sure to be kept concealed.
THE DKATH OF QUEEN BLANCHE.
ARIA DE PADIIvLA, be not thus of dismal
For if I twice have wedded me, it all w^as for thy good
"But if upon Queen Blanche ye will that I some scorn
For a banner to Medina my messenger shall go.
''The work shall be of Blanche's tears, of Blanche's
blood the ground ;
Such pennon shall they weave for thee, such sacrifice be
found. ' '
Then to the Lord of Ortis, that excellent baron.
He said, "Now hear me, Ynigo, forthwith for this
Then answ^er made Don Ynigo : " Such gift I ne'er w411
For he that harmeth Lady Blanche doth harm my lord
146 Zbc Deatb of (Sixxccn :fiSlancbe
Then Pedro to his chamber went, his cheek was burning
And to a bowman of his guard the dark command he said.
The bowman to Medina passed ; when the Queen beheld
*' Alas ! " she said, " my maidens, he brings my death, I
Then said the archer, bending low, "The King's com-
And see thy soul be ordered w^ell with God that did it
"For lo ! thine hour is come, therefrom no refuge may
Then gently spake the Lady Blanche: "My friend, I
pardon thee ;
"Do what thou wilt, so be the King hath his command-
Deny me not confession, — if so, forgive ye. Heaven ! "
Much grieved the bowman for her tears, and for her
While thus Queen Blanche of Bourbon her last complaint
did make :
XLbc Beatb of (Slueen JSlancbc 147
''O France ! my noble country — O blood of high Bour-
Not eighteen years have I seen out before my life is
" The King hath never known me. A virgin true I die.
Whate'er I 've done, to proud Castile no treason e'er
"The crown they put upon my head was a crown of
blood and sighs : —
God grant me soon another crown more precious in the
skies ! "
These words she spake, then down she knelt, and took
the bowman's blow ;
Her tender neck was cut in tw^ain, and out her blood did
THE DEATH OF DON PEDRO.
'T^HE reader may remember, that when Don Pedro
^ had, by his excessive cruelties, quite alienated from
himself the hearts of the great majority of his people,
Don Henry of Trastamara, his natural brother, who had
spent many years in exile, returned suddenly into Spain
with a formidable band of French auxiliaries, by whose
aid he drove Pedro out of his kingdom. The voice of the
nation was on Henry's side, and he took possession of
the throne without further opposition.
Pedro, after his treatment of Queen Blanche, could
have nothing to hope from the crown of France, so he
immediately threw himself into the arms of England.
And our Edward the Black Prince, who then command-
ed in Gascony, had more than one obvious reason for
taking up his cause.
The Prince of Wales marched with Don Pedro into
Spain, at the head of an army of English and Gascon
veterans, whose disciplined valor, Mariana very frankly
^be Beatb of 2)on ipebro 149
confesses, gave theni a decided superiority over the Span-
ish soldiery of the time. Henry was so unwise as to set
his stake upon a battle, and was totally defeated in the
field of Najara. Unable to rally his flying troops, he was
compelled to make his escape beyond the Pyrenees ; and
Don Pedro once more established him-self in his kingdom.
The battle of Najara took place in 1366.
But, in 1368, when the Black Prince had retired again
into Gascony, Henry, in his turn, came back from exile
with a small but gallant army, most of whom were
French, commanded by the celebrated Bertram du Gleas-
quin, or, as he is more commonly called, Du Guesclin, —
and animated, as was natural, by strong thirst of ven-
geance for the insults, which, in the person of Blanche,
Pedro had heaped upon the royal line of their country,
and the blood of Saint Louis.
Henry of Trastamara advanced into the heart of La
Mancha, and there encountered Don Pedro, at the head
of an army six times more numerous than that which he
commanded, but composed in a great measure of Jews,
Saracens, and Portuguese, — miscellaneous auxiliaries,
who gave way before the ardor of the French chivalry,
so that Henry remained victorious, and Pedro was com-
pelled to take refuge in the neighboring castle of Mon-
I50 ZTbe Deatb of Bon peDro
tiel. That fortress was so strictly blockaded by the
successful enemy, that the King was compelled to at-
tempt his escape by night, with only twelve persons in
his retinue, Ferdinand de Castro being the person of most
note among them.
As they wandered in the dark, they were encountered
by a body of French cavalr\^ making the rounds, com-
manded by an adventurous knight, called Le Begue de
Villaines. Compelled to surrender, Don Pedro put him-
self under the safeguard of this oflB.cer, promising him a
rich ransom if he would conceal him from the knowledge
of his brother Henry. The knight, according to Frois-
sart, promised him concealment, and conveyed him to
his own quarters.
But in the course of an hour, Henry was apprised
that he was taken, and came with some of his followers,
to the tent of Allan de la Houssaye, where his un-
fortunate brother had been placed. In entering the
chamber he exclaimed, ''Where is that whoreson and
Jew, who calls himself King of Castile?" Pedro, as
proud and fearless as he was cruel, stepped instantly
forward and replied: "Here I stand, the lawful son and
heir of Don Alphonso, and it is thou that art but a false
bastard." The rival brethren instantly grabbled like
XLbc Deatb of 2)on ipeDro 151
lions, the French knights and Du Guesclin himself look-
ing on. Henry drew his poniard, and wounded Pedro in
the face, but his body was defended by a coat-of-mail. A
violent struggle ensued : Henry fell across a bench, and
his brother being uppermost, had well-nigh mastered
him, when one of Henry's followers, seizing Don Pedro
by the leg, turned him over, and his master, thus at
length gaining the upper-hand, instantly stabbed the
King to the heart.
Froissart calls this man the Vicomte de Roquebetyn,
and others the Bastard of Anisse. Menard, in his history
of Du Guesclin, says, that while all around gazed like
statues on the furious struggle of the brothers, Du Guesc-
lin exclaimed to this attendant of Henry, " What ! will
you stand by and see your master placed at such a pass
by a false renegade? — Make forward and aid him, for well
Pedro's head was cut off, and his remains were meanly
buried. They were afterwards disinterred by his daugh-
ter, the wife of our own John of Gaunt, ''time-honored
Lancaster," and deposited in Seville, with the honors due
to his rank. His memory was regarded with a strange
mixture of horror and compassion, which recommended
him as a subject for legend and for romance. He had
152 tlbe 2)eatb of Bon ipeDro
caused his innocent wife to be assassinated, — had mur-
dered three of his brothers, and committed number-
less cruelties upon his subjects. He had, which the
age considered equally scandalous, held a close intimacy
with the Jews and Saracens, and had enriched himself at
the expense of the Church. Yet, in spite of all these
crimes, his undaunted bravery and energy of character,
together with the strange circumstances of his death, ex-
cited milder feelings towards his memory.
The following ballad, which describes the death of
Don Pedro, was translated by a friend (the late Sir Wal-
ter Scott). It is quoted more than once by Cervantes in
THE DEATH OF DON PEDRO.
HENRY and King Pedro clasping,
Hold in straining arms each other ;
Tugging hard and closely grasping,
Brother proves his strength with brother.
Harmless pastime, sport fraternal.
Blends not thus their limbs in strife ;
Either aims, with rage infernal,
Naked dagger, sharpened knife.
154 ^be Deatb ot Bon peDro
Close Don Henry grapples Pedro,
Pedro holds Don Henry strait,
Breathing, this, triumphant fury.
That, despair and mortal hate.
Sole spectator of the struggle.
Stands Don Henry's page afar.
In the chase who bore his bugle,
And who bore his sword in war.
Down they go in deadly wrestle,
Down upon the earth they go ;
Fierce King Pedro has the vantage.
Stout Don Henry falls below.
Marking then the fatal crisis,
Up the page of Henry ran,
By the waist he caught Don Pedro,
Aiding thus the fallen man.
*' King to place, or to depose him,
Dwelleth not in my desire.
But the duty which he owes him,
• To his master pays the squire."
Now Don Henry has the upmost.
Now King Pedro lies beneath.
In his heart his brother's poniard
Instant finds its bloody sheath.
XLbc Deatb ot ^on ipeDro
Thus with mortal gasp and quiver,
While the blood in bubbles welled,
Fled the fiercest soul that ever
In a Christian bosom dwelled.
THE PROCLAMATION OF KING HENRY.
HP HE following ballad, taking up the story where it is
1 left in the preceding one, gives us the proclamation
and coronation of Don Henry, sumamed, from the cour-
tesy of his manners, El Cavallero, and the grief of Pe-
dro's lovely and unhappy mistress, Maria de Padilla.
From its structure and versification, I have no doubt it is
of much more modern origin than most of those in the
The picture which Mariana gives us of Don Pedro, the
hero of so many atrocious and tragical stories, is to me
very striking. " He was pale of complexion," says the
historian ; '' his features were high and well formed, and
stamped with a certain authority of majesty, his hair red,
his figure erect, even to stiffness ; he was bold and deter-
jnined in action and in council ; his bodily frame sank
under no fatigues, his spirit under no weight of difficulty
or of danger. He was passionately fond of hawking an4
all violent exercises.
XLbc proclamation of Iking IF^cnr^ 157
" In the beginning of his reign, he administered jus-
tice among private individuals with perfect integrity.
But even then were visible in him the rudiments of those
vices which grew with his age, and finally led him to his
ruin ; such as a general contempt and scorn of mankind,
an insulting tongue, a proud and difficult ear, even to
those of his household. These faults wxre discernible
even in his tender years ; to them, as he advanced in life,
were added avarice, dissolution in luxury, an utter hard-
ness of heart, and a remorseless cruelty." — (Mariana,
Book xvi., chap. i6.j
The reader will find almost the whole of Don Pedro's
history clothed in a strain of glowing and elegant poetry,
in a performance of the Baron de la Motte Fouque. (See
his " Bertrand Du Guesclin, historisches ritter-gedicht. "
— Leipsig, 1822.)
THE PROCLAMATION OF KING HENRY.
T the feet of Don Henrique now King Pedro dead is
Not that Henry's might was greater, but that blood to
Heaven was crying ;
Though deep the dagger had its sheath within his broth-
Firm on the frozen throat beneath Don Henry's foot is
So dark and sullen is the glare of Pedro's lifeless eyes,
Still half he fears what slumbers there to vengeance may
So stands the brother, — on his brow the mark of blood is
Yet had he not been Pedro's Cain, his Cain had Pedro
Close round the scene of cursed strife, the armed knights
Of either band, with silent thoughts of joyfulness or fear;
^be iproclamatton ot Iking 1bcm^ 159
All for a space, in silence, the fratricide survey, —
Then sudden bursts the mingling voice of triumph and
Glad shout on shout from Henry's host ascends unto the
*' God save King Henry — save the King — King Henry ! "
is their cry.
But Pedro's barons clasp their brows, in sadness stand
Whate'er to others he had been, their friend lies mur-
The deed, say those was justly done, — a tyrant's soul is
These ban and curse the traitorous blow by which a king
*' Now see," cries one, " how Heaven's amand asserts the
people's rights ! "
Another, " God will judge the hand that God's anointed
smites ! "
** The Lord's vicegerent," quoth a priest, '' is sovereign of
And he rebels 'gainst Heaven's behest, that slights his
King's command ! "
"Now Heaven be witness, if he sinned," thus speaks a
''The fault was in Padilla's eye, that o'er him magic
i6o ^be iproclamation ot 1kim 1benr^
*' Or if no magic be her blame, so heavenly fair is she,
The wisest, for so bright a dame, might well a sinner be ;
Let none speak ill of Pedro, — no Roderick hath he been !
He dearly loved fair Spain, although 't is true he slew
The words he spake they all might hear, yet none vouch-
safe reply, —
'' God save great Henry— save the King — King Henry ! "
is the cry ;
While Pedro's liegemen turn aside, their groans are in
your ear, —
*' Whate'er to others he hath been, our friend lies slaugh-
tered here ! "
Nor paltry souls are wanting among King Pedro's band,
That, now their king is dead, draw near to kiss his mur-
The false cheek clothes it in a smile, and laughs the hol-
And wags the traitor tongue the while with flattery's
The valor of the King that ts — the justice of his cause —
The blindness and the tyrannies of him the King that
All — all are doubled in their speech, yet truth enough is
To sink the spirit shivering near, in darkness of despair.
XLbc iproclamation of 1kim 1bcm^ i6i
The murder of the Master, the tender Infants' doom,
And blessed Blanche's thread of life snapped short in
With tragedies yet unrevealed, that stained the King's
By lips his bounty should have sealed, are blazoned black
Whom served he most at others' cost, most loud they
rend the sky,
*' God save great Henry — save our King — King Henry ! "
is the cry.
But still, amid too many foes, the grief is in your ear
Of dead King Pedro's faithful few — '' Alas ! our lord lies
here ! "
But others' tears, and others' groans, what are they
matched with thine,
Maria de Padilla — thou fatal concubine !
Because she is King Henry's slave, the lady weepeth sore,
Because she 's Pedro's widowed love, alas ! she weepeth
*' O Pedro, Pedro ! " hear her cry—'* how often did I say
That wicked counsel and weak trust would haste thy life
away ! ' '
She stands upon her turret-top, she looks down from on
Where mantled in his bloody cloak she sees her lover lie.
i62 XLbc iproclamation ot Iking 1benr^
Low lies King Pedro in his blood, while bending down
Caitiffs that trembled ere he spake, crouched at his mur-
derer's knee ;
They place the sceptre in his hand, and on his head the
And trumpets clear are blown, and bells are merry
through the town.
The sun shines bright, and the gay rout with clamors
rend the sky,
" God save great Henry — save the King — King Henry ! "
is the cry ;
But the pale lady weeps above, with many a bitter tear,
Whate'er he was, he was her love, and he lies slaughtered
At first, in silence down her cheek the drops of sadness
But rage and anger come to break the sorrow of her
The triumph of her haters — the gladness of their cries,
Knkindle flames of ire and scorn within her tearful eyes.
In her hot cheek the blood mounts high, as she stands
Now on proud Henry's royal state, his robe and golden
Zbc iproclamation of Iking 1bcnv^ 163
WITH FURIOUS GRIEF SHE TWISTS HER HANDS AMONG HER LONG
i64 XLbc iproclamation ct 1kin^ 1bent^
And now upon the trampled cloak that hides not from
The slaughtered Pedro's marble brow, and lips of livid
With furious grief she twists her hands among her long
And all from off her lovely brow the blameless locks she
She tears the ringlets from her front, and scatters all the
King Pedro's hand had planted among her raven curls.
"Stop, caitiff tongues !" — they hear her not — "King
Pedro's love am I ! "
They heed her not — " God save the King — great Henry ! ''
still they cry.
She rends her hair, she wrings her hands, but none to
help is near,
' ' God look in vengeance on their deed, my lord lies mur-
dered here ! "
Away she flings her garments, her broidered veil and
As if they should behold her love within her lovely
As if to call upon her foes the constant heart to see,
Where Pedro's form is still enshrined, and evermore
^be iproclamatlon of Iking 1F3enr^ 165
But none on fair Maria look, by none her breast is
Save angry Heaven remembering well the murder of the
The wounds of jealous harlot rage, which virgin blood
And all the scorn that mingled in the bitter cup of
The utter coldness of neglect that haughty spirit stings.
As if a thousand fiends were there, with all their flapping
She wraps the veil about her head, as if 't were all a
The love — the murder — and the wrath — and that rebel-
For still there 's shouting on the plain, and spurring far
'' God save the King — Amen ! amen ! — King Henry ! " is
the cry ;
While Pedro all alone is left upon his bloody bier,
Not one remains to cry to God, " Our lord lies mur-
dered here ! "
THE LORD OF BUTRAGO.
'T^HE incident to which the following ballad relates, is
^ supposed to have occurred on the famous field of
Aljubarrota, where King Juan the First of Castile was de-
feated by the Portuguese. The King, w^ho was at the
time in a feeble state of health, exposed himself very
much during the action ; and being wounded, had great
difficulty in making his escape. The battle was fought
*' Your horse is faint, my King — my Lord ! your gallant
horse is sick, —
His limbs are torn, his breast is gored, on his eye the
film is thick ;
Mount, mount on mine, oh, mount apace, I pray thee,
mount and fly !
Or in my arms I '11 lift your grace, — their trampling
hoofs are nigh !
tTbe %ov^ ot :©utrago 167
" My King — my King ! you 're wounded sore, — the blood
runs from your feet !
But only lay a hand before, and I '11 lift you to your seat.
Mount, Juan, for they gather fast ! I hear their coming cry !
Mount, mount, and ride for jeopardy — I '11 save you
though I die !
''Stand, noble steed ! this hour of need — be gentle as a
I '11 kiss the foam from off thy mouth — thy master dear
I am !
Mount, Juan, mount ! whate'er betide, away the bridle
And plunge the rowels in his side ! My horse shall save
my King !
"Nay, never speak ; my sires. Lord King, received their
land from yours.
And joyfully their blood shall spring, so be it thine
If I should fly, and thou, my King, be found among the
How could I stand 'mong gentlemen, such scorn on my
gray head ?
"Castile's proud dames shall never point the finger of
And say — there 's one that ran away when our good lords
were slain ! —
G:be XorD of :fiSutra^o
I leave Diego in your care, — you '11 fill his father's
Strike, strike the spur, and never spare — God's blessing
on your grace ! "
So spake the brave Montanez, Butrago's lord was he ;
And turned him to the coming host in steadfastness and
He flung himself among them, as they came down the
He died, God wot ! but not before his sword had drunk
its fill !
THE KING OF x\RRAGON.
THE following little ballad represents the supposed
feelings of Ferdinand, King of Arragon, on survey-
ing Naples, after lie had at last obtained possession of
that city, and driven Rene of Anjou from the south of
Italy. " The King of Arragon," says Mariana, " entered
Naples as victor, on the morning of Sunday, the sec-
ond of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand,
four hundred and forty -two."
The brother, whose death is represented as saddening
the King's triumph, was Don Pedro of Arragon, who was
killed '*by the fourth rebound of a cannon-ball," very
soon after the commencement of the siege of Naples.
''When the King heard of these woful tidings," says
Mariana, ''he hastened to the place where the body had
been laid, and kissing the breast of the dead man, said :
' Alas, my brother, what different things had I expected
of thee ! God help thy soul ! ' And wath that he wept
I70 ^be Iking of Brragon
and groaned, and then turning to his attendants, ' Alas ! '
said he, ' my comrades, we have lost this day the flower
of all our chivalry ! ' Don Pedro died in the bloom of
his youth, being just twenty-seven years old, and having
never been married. He had been in many wars, and in
all of them he had won honor." — (Mariana, Book xxi.,
Who was the favorite boy (Pagezico), whose death the
King also laments in the ballad, I have not been able to
THE KING OF ARRAGON.
ONB day the King of Arragon, from the old citadel
Looked down upon the sea of Spain, as the billows
rose and fell.
He looked on ship and galley, some coming and some
With all their prize of merchandise, and all their stream-
Some to Castile were sailing, and some to Barbar^^, —
And then he looked on Naples, that great city of the
" O city ! " saith the King, " how great hath been thy
For thee, I twenty years — my fairest years — have lost !
"By thee, I have lost a brother — never Hector was
more brave ;
High cavaliers have dropped their tears upon my broth-
er's grave ;
Much treasure hast thou cost me, and a little boy beside
(Alas ! thou woful city !) for whom I would have died."
THE VOW OF RBDUAN.
" I 'HE marriage of Ferdinand the Catholic, and Doiia
■* Isabella, having united the forces of Arragon and
Castile, the total rain of the Moorish power in Spain
could no longer be deferred. The last considerable frag-
ment of their once mighty possessions in the Peninsula,
was Granada ; but the fate of Malaga gave warning of its
inevitable fall, while internal dissensions, and the weak-
XLbc IDow of IReDuan
ness of the reigning prince, hastened and facilitated that
great object of Ferdinand's ambition.
The following is a version of certain parts of two bal-
lads ; indeed, the Moor Reduan is the hero of a great
many more. The subject is, as the reader will perceive,
the rash vow and tragical end of a young and gallant sol-
dier, allied, as it would appear, to the blood of the last
Moorish King of Granada, Boabdil — or, as he is more
generally called by the Spanish writers, £1 Rey Chi-
quito,—i. e., the Little King.
THE VOW OF REDUAN.
THUS said, before his lords, the
King of Reduan : —
" 'T is easy to get words, — deeds
get we as we can ;
Rememberest thou the feast at
which I heard thee saying, '■-'%[ '^IT fH i
'T were easy in one night to make -'-^'^^V M/M
me Lord of Jaen ?
'' Well, in my mind, I hold the val-
iant vow was said ;
Fulfil it, boy ! and gold shall shower
upon thy head.
But bid a long farewell, if now thou
shrink from doing.
To bower and bonnibell, thy feasting, and thy wooing."
^be \Dovc ot IRe^uan
*' I have forgot the oath, if such I e'er
did plight, —
But needs there plighted troth to make
a soldier fight ?
A thousand sabres bring, — we '11 see
how we may thrive ! ' '
''One thousand!" quoth the King;
" I trow thou shalt have five ! "
They passed the Klvira gate, with ban-
ners all displayed.
They passed in mickle state, a noble ^ \i}^m
cavalcade ;— - ^ '
What proud and pawing horses, what
What bravery of targets, what glitter- '^
ing of spears !
What caftans blue and scarlet, — what
turbans pleached of green ;
What waving of their crescents and
plumages between ;
What buskins and what stirrups,—
what rowels chased in gold !
What handsome gentlemen, — what
buoyant hearts and bold !
In midst, above them all, rides he who
rules the band ;
Yon feather white and tall is the token
of command ;
JL\)C IDow ot 1ReC)uan
He looks to the Alhambra, whence
bends his mother down, —
" Now Alia save my boy, and mer-
ciful Mahoun !"
But 't was another sight — when
Reduan drew near
To look upon the height where
Jaen's towers appear ;
The fosse was wide and deep, the
walls both tall and strong,
And keep was matched with keep
the battlements along.
It was a heavy sight, — but most for
He sighed, as well he might, ere
thus his speech began :
^ ^ ?/'sf **OJaen! had I known how high
:' .,, ,ir , ,'i.. JfO *^^ bulwarks stand,
^Vf - My tongue had not outgone the
.^/ prowess of my hand.
''But since, in hasty cheer, I did
my promise plight.
uV4 (What well might cost a year) to
^'^ win thee in a night, —
) The pledge demands the paying. I
w^ould my soldiers brave
Were half so sure of Jaen, as I am
''''"'/ ^^ ^^ grave !
tbc IDow of IRe^uan 177
''My penitence conies late, — my death lags not behind ;
I yield me up to fate, since hope I may not find ! "
With that he turned him round ; — " blow your trumpets
But every spearman frowned, and dark w^as every eye.
But when he was aw^are that they would fain retreat.
He spurred his bright bay mare, — I wot her pace was
He rides beneath the walls, and shakes aloof his lance.
And to the Christians calls, if any wnll advance !
With that an arrow flew from o'er the battlement, —
Young Reduan it slew, sheer through the breast it went !
He fell upon the green, — " Farew^ell, my gallant bay ! "
Right soon, when this was seen, broke all the Moor array.
THE FLIGHT FROM GRANADA.
' I 'HK following ballad describes the final departure of
■*• the weak and unfortunate Boabdil from Granada.
In point of fact, the Moorish king came out and received
Ferdinand and Isabella in great form and pomp, at the
gates of his lost city, presenting them with the keys on
a cushion, and in abject terms entreating their protection
for his person.
The valley of Purchena, in Murcia, was assigned to
him for his place of residence, and a handsome revenue
provided for the maintenance of him and his family ; but,
after a little while, '' not having resolution " (as Mariana
expresses it) "to endure a private life in the country
where he had so long reigned a king," he went over to
The entrance of Ferdinand and Isabella into Granada
took place on Friday, the 6th of January, 1492.
THE FLIGHT FROM GRANADA.
THERE was crying in Granada when the sun was
going down, —
Some calling on the Trinity — some calling on Mahoun !
Here passed away the Koran, — there in the Cross was
And here was heard the Christian bell, — and there the
Te Deiun Laicdamiis ! was up the Alcala sung ;
Down from the Alhambra's minarets were all the cres-
cents flung ;
The arms thereon of Arragon they with Castile's display;
One king comes in in triumph, — one weeping goes away !
Thus cried the weeper, while his hands his old white
beard did tear,
^* Farewell, farewell, Granada! thou city without peer !
Woe, woe, thou pride of Heathendom ! seven hundred
years and more
Have gone since first the faithful thy royal sceptre bore !
i8o ttbe fflt^bt afrom (Srana5a
"Thou wert the happy mother of an high renowned
Within thee dwelt a haughty line that now go from their
Within thee fearless knights did dwell, who fought with
mickle glee —
The enemies of proud Castile — the bane of Christientie !
"The mother of fair dames wert thou, of truth and beauty
Into whose arms did courteous knights for solace sweet
For whose dear sakes the gallants of Afric made display
Of might in joust and battle on many a bloody day !
" Here, gallants held it little thing for ladies' sake to die,
Or for the Prophet's honor, and pride of Soldanry ; —
For here did valor flourish, and deeds of warlike might
Ennobled lordly palaces, in which was our delight.
"The gardens of thy Vega, its fields and blooming
Woe, woe ! I see their beauty gone, and scattered all
their flowers !
No reverence can he claim — the King that such a land
hath lost, —
On charger never can he ride, nor be heard among the
XLbc ^liQbt ffrom (3ranaba
But in some dark and dismal place, where ngne liis face
There weeping and lamenting, alone that king should
Thus spake Granada's King as he w^as riding to the sea.
About to cross Gibraltar's Strait away to Barbary ;
Thus he in heaviness of soul unto his Queen did cry
(He had stopped and ta'en her in his arms, for together
they did fly).
''Unhappy King! whose craven soul can brook" (she
"To leave behind Granada, — w^ho hast not heart to die !
Now for the love I bore thy youth, thee gladly could I
For what is life to leave when such a crown is cast away ? "
THE DEATH OF DON ALONZO OF AGUILAR.
nPHE Catholic zeal of Ferdinand and Isabella was grati-
^ fied by the external conversion at least of a great
part of the Moors of Granada ; but the inhabitants of the
Sierra of Alpuxarra, a ridge of mountainous territory- at
no great distance from that cit}^, resisted every argument
of the priests who were sent among them, so that the
royal order for Baptism was at length enforced by arms.
Those Moorish mountaineers resisted for a time in
several of their strongholds, but were at last subdued,
and in great part extirpated. Among many severe losses
sustained by the Spanish forces in the course of this hill
warfare, none was more grievous than that recorded in
the following ballad. Don Alonzo of Aguilar, was the
elder brother of that Gonsalvo Hernandez y Cordova of
Aguilar, who became so illustrious as to acquire the
name of the Great Captain.
The circumstances of Don Alonzo' s death are described
^be 5)eatb of Don Blon30 of Bgutlar 183
somewhat differently b}^ the historians. (See in particu-
lar Mariana, Book xxvii., chap. 6, where no mention
is made of the Moors throwing down stones on him
and his party, as in the ballad.) This tragic story has
been rendered familiar to all Knglish readers by the
Bishop of Dromore's exquisite version of '' Rio Verde,
THE DEATH OF DON ALOXZO OF AGUILAR.
FERXAXDO, King of Arragon, before Granada lies,
With dukes and barons many a one. and champions
of emprise ;
With all the captains of Castile that ser^-e his lady's
He drives Boabdil from his gates, and plucks the cres-
The cross is reared upon the towers, for our Redeemer's
The King assembles all his powers, his triumph to par-
Yet at the royal banquet, there 's trouble in his eye : —
" Now speak thy wish, it shall be done, great King I "
the lordlings en:.
Then spake Fernando: "Hear, grandees I which of ye
all will go.
And give my banner in the breeze of Alpuxar to blow ?
^be Deatb ot 5)on BIon30 ot Bauilar 185
Those heights along, the Moors are strong ; now who, by-
dawn of day,
Will plant the cross their cliffs among, and drive the dogs
away ? ' '
Then champion on champion high, and count on count
doth look ;
And faltering is the tongue of lord, and pale the cheek
Till starts up brave Alonzo, the Knight of Aguilar,
The lowmost at the royal board, but foremost still in war.
And thus he speaks : "I pray, my lord, that none but I
For I made promise to the Queen, your consort, long ago,
That ere the war should have an end, I, for her royal
And for my duty to her grace, would show some feat of
arms ! "
Much joyed the King these words to hear, — he bids
Alonzo speed ;
And long before their revel 's o'er the Knight is on his
Alonzo 's on his milk-white steed, with horsemen in his
A thousand horse, a chosen band, ere dawn the hills to
i86 ^be Deatb of Bon Blonso of Bc^uilar
They ride along the darkling ways, they gallop all the
They reach Nevada ere the cock hath harbingered the
But ere they 've climbed that steep ravine, the east is
And the Moors their lances bright have seen, and Chris-
tian banners spread.
Beyond the sands, between the rocks, where the old cork-
The path is rough, and mounted men must singly march
There, o'er the path, the heathen range their ambuscado's
High up they wait for Aguilar, as the day begins to shine.
There, nought avails the eagle-eye, the guardian of Cas-
The eye of wisdom, nor the heart that fear might never
The arm of strength, that wielded well the strong mace
in the fray,
Nor the broad plate, from whence the edge of falchion
Not knightly valor there avails, nor skill of horse and
For rock on rock comes rumbling down from cliff and
cavern drear ;
^be 5)catb of 2)ou BloujO ot Bguilar 187
-- •' /-Vt.
^a_ _ ',
^^- . :^ •
Down — down like driving hail they
come, and horse and horsemen
^ Q Like cattle whose despair is dumb when
the fierce lightnings fly.
Alonzo, with a handful more, escapes into
There, like a lion, stands at bay, in vain
besought to yield ;
A thousand foes around are seen, but none
draw near to fight ;
Afar, with bolt and javelin, they pierce
the steadfast knight.
A hundred and a hundred darts are hissing
round his head ;
Had Aguilar a thousand hearts, their blood had all been
i88 ^be Beatb ot ^on Blon30 ot Bgutlar
Faint, and more faint, he staggers upon the slippery sod,
At last his back is to the earth, he gives his soul to God !
With that the Moors plucked up their hearts to gaze upon
And caitiffs mangled where he lay the scourge of Afric's
To woody Oxijera then the gallant corpse they drew,
And there, upon the village green, they laid him out to
Upon the village green he lay, as the moon was shining
And all the village damsels to look on him drew near ;
They stood around him all a-gaze, beside the big oak-tree.
And much his beauty they did praise, though mangled
sore w^as he.
Now, so it fell, a Christian dame, that knew Alonzo well,
Not far from Oxijera did as a captive dw^ell,
And hearing all the marvels, across the woods came she,
To look upon this Christian corpse, and wash it decently.
She looked upon him, and she knew the face of Agnilar,
Although his beauty w^as disgraced with many a ghastly
She knew him, and she cursed the dogs that pierced him
And mangled him when he was slain — the Moors of
XLbc Bcatb ot Bon nion^o ot Bc^uilar iS
The Moorish maidens, while she spake, around her
But her master dragged the dame away, — then loud and
long they wept.
They washed the blood, with man}- a tear, from dint of
dart and arrow.
And buried him near the waters clear of the brook of
THE DEPARTURE OF KING SEBASTIAN.
T^HE reader is acquainted with the melancholy story^ of
* Sebastian, King of Portugal. It was in 1578 that
his unfortunate expedition and death took place.
The following is a version of one of the Spanish
ballads, founded on the history of Sebastian. There is
another, which describes his death, almost in the w^ord^
of a ballad already translated, concerning King Juan 1.
It was a Lusitanian lady, and she was lofty in degree,
Was fairer none, nor nobler, in all the realm than she.
I saw her that her eyes were red, as, from her balcony,
They wandered o'er the crowded shore and the resplen-
Gorgeous and gay, in Lisbon's Bay, with streamers
Upon the gleaming waters Sebastian's galleys ride ;
His valorous armada (was never nobler sight !)
Hath young Sebastian marshalled against the Moorish
^be Departure ot IRing Sebaetlan 191
The breeze comes forth from the clear north, a gallant
breeze there blows ;
Their sails they lift, then out they drift, and first Sebas-
'' May none withstand Sebastian's hand, — God shield my
King! " she said ;
Yet pale was that fair lady's cheek, — her weeping eyes
She looks on all the parting host, in all its pomp ar-
Bach pennon on the wind is tost, each cognizance
Bach lordly galley flings abroad, above its armed prow,
The banner of the Cross of God, upon the breeze to flow.
But one there is, whose banner, above the Cross divine,
A scarf upholds, with azure folds, of love and faith the
Upon that galley's stern ye see a peerless w^arrior stand,
Though first he goes, still back he throws his eyes upon
Albeit through tears she looks, yet well may she that
form descry, —
Was nevfer seen a vassal mien so noble and so high ;
Albeit the lady's cheek was pale, albeit her eyes were red,
''May none withstand my true-love's hand ! God bless
my Knight ! " she said.
192 ^be departure of Icing Sebaettan
There are a thousand barons, all harnessed cap-a-pie,
With helm and spear that glitter clear above the dark-
green sea ;
No lack of gold or silver, to stamp each proud device
Cn shield or surcoat, — nor of chains and jewelry of price.
The seamen's cheers the lady hears, and mingling voices
From every deck, of glad rebeck, of trumpet, and of
'' Who dare withstand Sebastian's hand? — what Moor his
gage may fling
At young Sebastian's feet? " she said. — " The Lord hath
blessed my King. ' '
T T is sometimes very difficult to determine which, of the
^ Moorish ballads ought to be included in the Histori-
cal, which in the Romantic class ; and for this reason,
the following five specimens are placed by themselves.
Several ballads decidedly of Moorish origin, such as
" Reduan's Vow," " The Flight from Granada," etc., have
been printed in the preceding section.
THB BUIvL-FIGHT OF GAZUIv.
/^"^ AZUL is the name of one of the Moorish heroes who
^-^ figure in the " Historia de las Guerras Civiles de
Granada." The following ballad is one of very many in
which the dexterity of the Moorish cavaliers in the bull-
fight is described. The reader will observe, that the shape,
activity, and resolution of the unhappy animal, destined
to furnish the amusement of the spectators, are enlarged
upon, — just as the qualities of a modern race-horse might
be among ourselves ; nor is the bull without his name.
The day of the Baptist is a festival among the Mussul-
mans, as well as among Christians.
THB BUI.L-FIGHT OF GAZUL.
KING AIvMANZOR, of Granada, he hath bid the
He hath summoned all the Moorish lords, from the hills
and plaiijs around ;
From Vega and Sierra, from Betis and Xenil,
They have come with helm and cuirass of gold and
'T is the holy Baptist's feast they hold in royalty and
And they have closed the spacious lists, beside the Al-
In gowns of black with silver laced, within the tented
Bight Moors to fight the bull are placed, in presence of
Eight Moorish lords of valor tried, with stalwart arm
The onset of the beasts abide, as they come rushing
^be JBulUJ^igbt ot Gasul
iq8 trbe :fiSul(=3Figbt of Gasul
The deeds they 've done, the spoils they 've won, fill all
with hope and trust,
Yet, ere high in heaven appears the sun, they all have
bit the dust !
Then sounds the trumpet clearly, then clangs the loud
Make room, make room for Gazul ! — throw wide, throw
wide the door !
Blow, blow the trumpet clearer still ! more loudly strike
the drum !
The Alcayde of Algava to fight the bull doth come.
And first before the King he passed, with reverence
And next he bowed him to the Queen, and the Infantas
all a-rowe ;
Then to his lady's grace he turned, and she to him did
A scarf from out her balcony was whiter than the snow.
With the life-blood of the slaughtered lords all slippery
is the sand,
Yet proudly in the centre hath Gazul ta'en his stand ;
And ladies look with heaving breast, and lords with
But firmly he extends his arm, — his look is calm and
Zbc :fiSull^J'ic;bt of (3a3ul 199
Three bulls against the Knight are loosed, and two come
He rises high in stirrup, forth stretching his rejon ;
Kach furious beast upon the breast he deals him such a
He blindly totters and gives back across the sand to go.
"Turn, Gazul — turn !" the people cry ; the third comes
Low to the sand his head holds he, his nostrils snuff the
The mountaineers that lead the steers without stand
" Now thinks this proud Alcayde to stun Harpado so ? "
From Guadiana comes he not, he comes not from Xenil,
From Gaudalarif of the plain, or Barves of the hill ;
But where from out the forest burst Xarama's waters
Beneath the oak-trees was he nursed, — this proud and
Dark is his hide on either side, but the blood within doth
And the dun hide glows, as if on fire, as he paws to the
His eyes are jet, and they are set in crystal rings of snow ;
But now they stare with one red glare of brass upon the
200 ^be JSuIl^ffigbt of Ga^ul
upon the forehead of the bull the horns stand close and
F'rom out the broad and wrinkled skull like daggers they
His neck is massy, like the trunk of some old knotted
\Vhereon the monster's shagged mane, like billows
ciirled, ye see.
His legs are short, his hams are thick, his hoofs are black
Like a strong flail he holds his tail in fierceness of his
Like something molten out of iron, or hewn from forth
Harpado of Xarania stands, to bide the Alcayde's shock.
Now stops the drum ; close, close they come ; thrice
meet, and thrice give back ;
The white foam of Harpado lies on the charger's breast
of black, —
The white foam of the charger on Harpado 's front of
Once more advance upon his lance — once more, thou
fearless one !
Once more, once more ! — in dust and gore to ruin must
thou reel !
In vain, in vain thou tearest the sand with furious heel !
Zbc :fiSull=fftc;bt ot OajUl 201
In vain, in vain, thou noble beast ! — I see, I see thee
Now keen and cold thy neck must hold the stern Al-
cayde's dagger !
They have slipped a noose around his feet, six horses are
And away they drag Harpado with a loud and joyful din.
Now stoop thee, lady, from thy stand, and the ring of
Upon Gazul of Algava, that hath laid Harpado low !
THE ZEGRI'S BRIDE.
THE reader cannot need to be reminded of the fatal
effects which were produced by the feuds subsist-
ing between the two great families, or rather races, of the
Zegris and the Abencerrages of Granada. The following
ballad is also from the " Guerras Civiles."
Of all the blood of Zegri, the chief is Lisaro,
To wield rejon like him is none, or javelin to throw ;
From the place of his dominion, he ere the dawn doth go,
From Alcala de Henares, he rides in weed of woe.
He rides not now as he was wont, when ye have seen him
To the field of gay Toledo, to fling his lusty reed ;
No gambeson of silk is on, nor rich embroidery
Of gold-wrought robe or turban, nor jewelled tahali.
No amethyst nor garnet is shining on his brow,
No crimson sleeve, which damsels weave at Tunis, decks
Zbc XcQvVs JSriOe 203
The belt is black, the hilt is dim, but the sheathed blade
is bright ;
They have housened his barb in a murky garb, but yet
her hoofs are light.
Four horsemen good, of the Zegri blood, with Lisaro go
No flashing spear may tell them near, but yet their shafts
In darkness and in swiftness rides every armed knight, —
The foam on the rein ye may see it plain, but nothing
else is white.
Young Lisaro, as on they go, his bonnet doffeth he,
Between its folds a sprig it holds of a dark and glossy
That sprig of bay, were it away, right heavy heart had
Fair Zayda to her Zegri gave that token privily.
And ever as they rode, he looked upon his lady's boon.
*' God knows," quoth he, " what fate may be ! — I maybe
slaughtered soon ;
Thou still art mine, though scarce the sign of hope that
But in my grave I yet shall have my Zayda's token
dear, ' '
^be ^cgvVs :Bv\^c
Young Lisaro was musing so, when onwards on the path,
He well could see them riding slow ; then pricked he in
The raging sire, the kinsmen of Zayda's hateful house,
Fought well that day, yet in the fray the Zegri won his
THE BRIDAL OF ANDALLA.
HB following ballad has been often imitated by
modern poets, both in Spain and in Germany :
" Pon te a las rejas azules, dexa la manga que labras,
Melancholica Xarifa, veras al galan Andalla," etc.
" Rise up, rise up, Xarifa ! lay the golden cushion
Rise up, come to the window, and gaze with all the
From gay guitar and violin the silver notes are flowing.
And the lovely lute doth speak between the trumpet's
And banners bright from lattice light are waving every-
And the tall tall plume of our cousin's bridegroom floats
proudly in the air.
Rise up, rise up, Xarifa ! lay the golden cushion down ;
Rise up, come to the window, and gaze with all the
''Arise, arise, Xarifa ! I see Andalla's face, —
He bends him to the people with a calm and princely
2o6 XLbc JSri^al of BnDalla
Through all the land of Xeres and banks of Guadal-
Rode forth bridegroom so brave as he, so brave and
Yon tall plume waving o'er his brow, of purple mixed
I guess 't was wreathed by Zara, whom he will wed to-
Rise up, rise up, Xarifa ! lay the golden cushion down ;
Rise up, come to the window, and gaze w^ith all the
"What aileth thee, Xarifa — what makes thine eyes look
Why stay ye from the window far, nor gaze with all the
I 've heard you say on many a day, and sure you said the
Andalla rides without a peer, among all Granada's
Without a peer he rideth, and yon milk-white horse
Beneath his stately master, with a stately step and
Then rise, — oh ! rise, Xarifa, lay the golden cushion
Unseen here through the lattice, you may gaze with all
the town ! "
Zbc :fiSnDal of Bndalla
' RISE UP, RISE UP, XARIFA ! "
Cbe JSriOal oi BnDalla
The Zegri lady rose not, nor laid her cushion down,
Nor came she to the window to gaze with all the town ;
But though her eyes dwelt on her knee, in vain her fin-
And though her needle pressed the silk, no flower Xarifa
One bonny rosebud she had traced, before the noise
drew nigh ;
That bonny bud a tear effaced, slow drooping from her
"No — no I " she sighs, — "bid me not rise, nor lay m}^
To gaze upon Andalla with all the gazing town ! "
'* Why rise ye not, Xarifa — nor lay your cushion down ?
Why gaze ye not, Xarifa — with all the gazing town ?
Hear, hear the trumpet how it swells, and how the people
He steps at Zara's palace-gate — why sit you still — oh,
— '*At Zara's gate stops Zara's mate: in him shall I
The dark-eyed youth pledged me his truth with tears,
and was my lover ;
I will not rise, with weary eyes, nor lay my cushion
To gaze on false Andalla with all the gazing town ! "
" /\ A ^" ear-rings ! my ear-rings ; they 've dropped into
iVi the well,
And what to say to Muca, I cannot, cannot tell I '' —
'T was thus, Granada's fountain by, spoke Albuharez'
'' The well is deep, — far down they lie, beneath the cold
blue water ;
To me did Muca give them, when he spake his sad fare-
And what to say when he comes back, alas I I cannot
210 2^ara'6 JBnv^HRinQB
^' My ear-rings ! my ear-rings! — they were pearls, in sil-
That, when my Moor was far away, I ne'er should him
That I ne'er to other tongue should list, nor smile on
But remember he my lips had kissed, pure as those ear-
When he comes back, and hears that I have dropped
them in the well,
Oh ! what will Muga think of me ! — I cannot, cannot tell !
**My ear-rings! my ear-rings! — he'll say they should
Not of pearl and of silver, but of gold and glittering
Of jasper and of onyx, and of diamonds shining clear,
Changing to the changing light, with radiance insincere ;
That changeful mind unchanging gems are not befitting
Thus will he think, — and what to say, alas ! I cannot tell.
*^ He '11 think, when I to market went, I loitered by the
He '11 think, a willing ear I lent to all the lads might say ;
He '11 think, some other lover's hand, among my tresses
From the ears where he had placed them my rings of
He '11 think, when I was sporting so beside this marble
My pearls fell in, — and what to say, alas ! I cannot tell.
" He '11 say, I am a woman, and we are all the same ;
He '11 say, I loved, when he was here, to whisper of his
But, when he went to Tunis, my virgin troth had broken.
And thought no more of Muga, and cared not for his
My ear-rings ! my ear-rings : oh ! luckless, luckless well,
For what to say to Mu^a, — alas ! I cannot tell.
" I'll tell the truth to Mu^a, — and I hope he will be-
That I thought of him at morning, and thought of him
at eve :
That, musing on my lover, when down the sun was gone,
His ear-rings in my hand I held, by the fountain all
And that my mind was o'er the sea, when from my hand
And that deep his love lies in my heart, as they lie in
the well !"
THK LAMENTATION FOR CBLIN.
T the gate of old Granada, when all its bolts are
At twilight, at the Vega gate, there is a trampling heard ;
There is a trampling heard, as of horses treading slow,
And a weeping voice of women, and a heavy sound of
" What tower is fallen, what star is set, what chief come
" A tower is fallen, a star is set I — Alas ! alas for Celin ! "
Three times they knock, three times they cry, — and wide
the doors they throw ;
Dejectedly they enter, and mournfully they go ;
In gloomy lines they mustering stand, beneath the hol-
Each horseman grasping in his hand a black and flam-
ing torch ;
Wet is each eye as they go b}-, and all around is wailing,
For all have heard the miser}-. — " Alas ! alas for Celin ! "
Him, yesterday, a Moor did slay, of Bencerraje's blood, —
*T was at the solemn jousting — around the nobles stood ;
<~-~ 7 , i. <r '- > -.
214 ^be Xamentation for Celin
The nobles of the land vrere by, and ladies bright and
Looked from their latticed windows, the haughty sight
to share ;
But now the nobles all lament — the ladies are bewailing —
For he was Granada's darling knight. — "Alas ! alas for
Before him ride his vassals, in order two by two,
With ashes on their turbans spread, most pitiful to view ;
Behind him his four sisters, each wrapped in sable veil,
Between the tambour's dismal strokes take up their dole-
ful tale ;
When stops the muffled drum, ye hear their brotherless
And all the people, far and near, cry — "x\las ! alas for
Oh ! lovely lies he on the bier, above the purple pall,
The flower of all Granada's youth, the loveliest of them
His dark, dark eyes are closed, his rosy lip is pale.
The crust of blood lies black and dim upon his burnished
And evermore the hoarse tambour breaks in upon their
Its sound is like no earthly sound — " Alas ! alas for
Celin ! " i
XLbc !ILamentation tor Cclin 215
The Moorish maid at the lattice stands, — the Moor stands
at his door ;
One maid is wringing of her hands, and one is weeping
Dow^n to the dust men bow their heads, and ashes black
Upon their broidered garments, of crimson, green, and
Before each gate the bier stands still, — then bursts the
From door and lattice, high and low — "Alas! alas for
Celin ! "
An old, old woman cometh forth, when she hears the
people crv', —
Her hair is white as silver, like horn her glazed eye :
'T was she that nursed him at her breast, — that nursed
him long ago ;
She knows not whom they all lament, but soon she well
shall knew^ !
With one deep shriek, she thro' doth break, when her
ears receive their wailing —
" Let me kiss my Celin ere I die— Alas ! alas for Celin ! '*
THE MOOR CALAYNOS.
IN the following version, I have taken liberty to omit
many of the introductory stanzas of the famous "Co-
plas de Calainos." The reader will remember that this
ballad is alluded to in "Don Quixote, " where the Knight's
nocturnal visit to Toboso is described. It is generally be-
lieved to be among the most ancient, and certainly was
among the most popular, of all the ballads in the
"I HAD six Moorish nurses, but the seventh was not a
The Moors they gave me milk enow, but the Christian
gave me lore ;
And she told me ne'er to listen, though sweet the words
Till he that spake had proved his troth, and pledged a
" Fair damsel," quoth Calaynos, " if thou wilt go with me,
Say what may win thy favor, and mine that gift shall be :
Sbe /Hboor Cala^no6
Fair stands the castle on the rock, the city in the vale,
And bonny is the red, red gold, and rich the silver pale."
'* Fair sir," quoth she, " virginity I never will lay down
For gold, nor 3^et for silver, for castle, nor for town ;
But I will be your leman for the heads of certain peers ;
And I ask but three — Rinaldo's, Roland's andOlivier's."
He kissed her hand where she did stand, he kissed her
And " Bring forth," he cries, '' my pennon, for to Paris I
must go ! "
I wot ye saw them rearing his banner broad right soon.
Whereon revealed his bloody field its pale and crescent
That broad bannere the Moor did rear, ere many days
In foul disdain of Charlemagne, by the church of good
Saint John ;
In the midst of stately Paris, on the royal banks of Seine.
Shall never scornful Paynim that pennon rear again.
His banner he hath planted high, and loud his trumpet
That all the twelve might hear it well around King
Charles throne ;
Zbc /IRoor Cala^no6
The note he blew right well they knew ; both paladin and
Had the trumpet heard of that stern lord in many a fierce
It chanced the King, that fair morning, to the chase had
made him bowne.
With many a knight of warlike might, and prince of high
Sir Reynold of Montalban, and Claros' lord, Gaston,
Behind him rode, and Bertram good, that reverend old
Black D' Ardennes' eye of master^^ in that proud troop
And there was Urgel's giant force, and Guarinos' princely
Gallant and gay upon that day was Baldwin's youthful
But first did ride, by Charles side, Roland and Olivier.
Now in a ring, around the King, not far in the green-
Awaiting all the huntsman's call, it chanced the nobles
" Now list, mine earls, now list ! " quoth Charles, "yon
breeze will come again, —
Some trumpet-note methinks doth float from the fair
bank of Seine."
222 trbe /iftoor Cala^nos
He scarce had heard the trumpet, the \^'ord he scarce had
When among the trees he near him sees a dark and tur-
baned head ;
''Now stand, now stand at my command, bold Moor ! "
quoth Charlemagne ;
'' That turban green, how dare it be seen among the
woods of Seine? "
"My turban green must needs be seen among the woods
The Moor replied, '' since here I ride in quest of Charle-
For I serve the Moor Calaynos, and I his defiance bring
To every lord that sits at the board of Charlemagne your
" Now lordlings fair, if anywhere in the wood ye 've seen
Oh, tell me plain the path he has ta'en, — there is no
cause for chiding ;
For my lord hath blown his trumpet by every gate of Paris,
Long hours in vain by the bank of Seine, upon his steed
he tarries." —
When the Kmperor had heard the Moor, full red was his
old cheek :
" Go back, base cur, upon the spur, for I am he you
seek : —
Zbc /Iftoor Cala^nos -^ 223
Go back, and tell your master to commend him to Ma-
For his soul shall d\Yell with him in hell, or ere yon sun
go down !
"Mine arm is weak, my hairs are gray" (thus spake
'' Would for one hour I had the power of my young days
As when I plucked the Saxon from out his mountain-den.
Oh, soon should cease the vaunting of this proud Sara-
" Though now mine arm be weakened, though now my
hairs be gray.
The hard-won praise of other days cannot be swept
If shame there be, my liegemen, the shame on you must
Go forth, go forth, good Roland ; to-night this Moor must
die ! "
Then out and spake rough Roland — ''Ofttimes I 've
thinned the ranks
Of the hot Moor, and when 't waso'er have won me little
Some carpet knight will take delight to do this doughty
Whom damsels gay shall well repay with smiles and
whispers sweet ! "
224 tlbe /Ifeoor Calai^nos
Then out and spake Sir Baldwin — the youngest peer was
The youngest and the comeliest, — "Let none go forth but
Sir Roland is mine uncle, and he may in safety jeer,
But I will show, the youngest may be Sir Roland's peer."
" Nay, go not thou," quoth Charlemagne, '* thou art my
And braver none I look upon ; but thy cheek it is too
And the curls upon thy forehead they are too glossy
Some elder peer must couch his spear against this crafty
But away, away goes Baldwin, no w^ords can stop him
Behind him lies the greenwood, he has gained the moun-
tain's brow ;
He reineth first his charger, within the churchyard green.
Where, striding slow the elms below, the haughty Moor
Then out and spake Calaynos, — "Fair youth, I greet thee
Thou art a comely stripling, and if thou with me wilt
Zbc /Hboor Calai2no6 225
All for the grace of thy sweet face, thou shalt not lack
Within my lady's chamber a pretty page thou 'It be." —
An angr\^ man was Baldwin, w^hen thus he heard him
*' Proud knight," quoth he, " I come with thee a bloody
spear to break ! "
Oh, sternly smiled Calaynos, when thus he heard him
Oh, loudly as he mounted his mailed barb did neigh.
One shout, one thrust, and in the dust young Baldwin
lies full low ;
No youthful knight could bear the might of that fierce
warrior's blow ;
Calaynos draws his falchion, and waves it to and fro :
" Thy name now say, and for mercy pray, or to hell thy
soul must go ! "
The helpless youth revealed the truth : then said the
" I spare thee for thy tender years, and for thy great
But thou must rest thee captive here, and serve me on
For fain I 'd tempt some doughtier peer to come and
rescue thee." — ■
226 Zbc /nboor Calav)no6
Sir Roland heard that haughty word (he stood behind the
His heart, I trow, was heavy enow, when he saw his
kinsman fall ;
But now^ his heart was burning, and never word he said.
But clasped his buckler on his arm, his helmet on his
Another sight saw the Moorish knight, when Roland
blew his horn.
To call him to the combat in anger and in scorn ;
All cased in steel from head to heel, in the stirrup high
The long spear quivered in his hand, as if athirst for blood.
Then out and spake Calaynos, — ''Thy name I fain would
A coronet on thy helm is set ; I guess thou art a peer." —
vSir Roland lifted up his horn, and blew another blast ;
"No words, base Moor ! " quoth Roland, " this hour shall
be thy last ! "
I wot they met full swiftly, I wot the shock was rude ;
Down fell the misbeliever, and o'er him Roland vStoo^ ;
Close to his throat the steel he brought, and plucked his
beard full sore :
"What devil brought thee hither? — speak out or die,
false ]Moor ! "
^be /nboor Cala^nos
" Oh ! I serve a noble damsel, a haughty maid of Spain,
And in evil day I took my way, that I her grace might
For every gift I offered my lady did disdain.
And craved the ears of certain peers that ride with
Then loudly laughed rough Roland : — '' Full few wdll be
It was not love her soul did move, who bade thee beard
THE PEERS : ' '
With that he smote upon his throat, and spurned his
crest in twain ;
"No more," he cries "this moon will rise above the
woods of Seine ! "
THE ESCAPE OF GAYFEROS.
THE stor}' of Gayfer de Bourdeaux is to be found at
great length in the " Romantic Chronicle of Charle-
magne "; and it has supplied the Spanish minstrels with
subjects for a long series of ballads. In that which
follows, Gayferos, yet a boy, is represented as hearing
from his mother the circumstances of his father's death ;
and as narrow!}' escaping with his own life, in conse-
quence of his stepfather. Count Galvan's cruelty.
There is another ballad which represents Gayferos,
now grown to be a man, as coming in the disguise of a
pilgrim to his mother's house, and slaying his stepfather
wnth his own hand. The Countess is only satisfied as to
his identity b}' the circumstance of the finger :
" El dedo bien es aqueste, aqui lo vereys faltar
La condesa que esto oyera enipezole de abra^ar.'
THE KSCAPB OF GAYFKROS.
BBFORB lier knee the boy did stand, within the dais
The golden shears were in her hand, to clip his curled
And ever, as she clipped the curls, such doleful w^ords she
That tears ran from Gayferos' eyes, for his sad mother's
'' God grant a beard were on thy face, and strength thine
To fling a spear, or swing a mace, like Roland Paladin !
For then, I think, thou wouldst avenge thy father that is
Whom envious traitors slaughtered within thy mother's
" Their bridal gifts were rich and rare, that hate might
not be seen ;
They cut me garments broad and fair — none fairer hath
230 trbe :e6cape ot Ga^feros
Then out and spake the little boy — " Each night to God
And to his blessed Mother, to make me strong and
The Count he heard Gayferos, in the palace where he lay :
" Now silence, silence, Countess ! it is falsehood that you
I neither sle\Y the man, nor hired another's sword to
But, that the mother hath desired, be sure the so'n shall
The Count called to his esquires (old followers were
Whom the dead lord had nurtured for many a merry
He bade them take their old lord's heir, and stop his
tender breath ;
Alas I 't was piteous but to hear the manner of that death.
''List, esquires, list, for my command is offspring of
The stirrup-foot and the hilt-hand see that ye sunder
That ye cut out his eyes 't were best — the safer he will
And bring a finger and the heart, that I his end may
tibe :iE6cape of Ga^tcvoB 231
The esquires took the little boy aside with them to go ;
Yet, as they went, they did repent — " O God ! must this
How shall we think to look for grace, if this poor child
When ranged before Christ Jesu's face at the great judg-
ment day? "
While they, not knowing what to do, were standing in
The Countess' little lap-dog bitch by chance did cross
their walk ;
Then out and spake one of the 'squires (you may hear
the w^ords he said),
" I think the coming of this bitch may serve us in good
" Let us take out the bitch's heart, and give it to
The boy may with a finger part, and be no worser
With that they cut the joint away, and whispered in his
That he must wander many a day, nor once those parts
"Your uncle grace and love wall show; he is a boun-
And so they let Gayferos go, and turned them to
232 ^bc J66cape of Oa^tcvoB
The heart and the small finger upon the board they laid,
And of Gayferos' slaughter a cunning story made.
The Countess, when she hears them, in great grief
loudly cries :
Meantime the stripling safely unto his uncle hies : —
" Now welcome, my fair boy," he said, " what good news
may they be
Come with thee to thine uncle's hall ? " — " Sad tidings
come with me : —
"The false Galvan had laid his plan to have me in my
But I 've escaped him, and am here, my boon from thee
to crave :
Rise up, rise up, mine uncle, thy brother's blood they 've
Rise up — they 've slain my father within my mother's
THE following is a versiou of another of the ballads
concerning Gayferos. It is the same that is quoted
in the chapter of the Puppet-show in "Don Quixote."
" Xow. sirs, he that you see there a-horseback, wrapt up
in the Gascoign-cloak, is Don Gayferos himself, whom
his wife, now revenged on the Moor for his impudence,
seeing from the battlements of the tower, takes him for
a stranger, and talks with him as such, according to the
'' Quoth Meliseudra. if perchance.
Sir Traveller, you go for France,'' etc.
The place of the lady's capti\-ity was Saragossa, anciently
T Sansuena, in the tower, fair
Her heart is far away in France,
and tears are in her eyes ;
The twilight shade is thickening laid on
ristfullv the ladv her wearv eves doth strain.
She gazes from the dungeon strong, forth on the road to
Weeping, and wondering why so long her lord Gayferos
When lo ! a knight appears in view
— a knight of Christian mien :
Upon a milk-white charger he rides ^-^-:r-\
the elms between.
She from her window reaches forth l,
her hand a sign to make ;
" Oh, if you be a knight of w^orth, 3
draw near for mercy's sake ; f — -
For mercy and sweet charity, draw
near, Sir Knight to me, :
And tell me if ye ride to France, or
whither bowne 3'e be.
"Oh, if ye be a Christian knight,
and if to France you go,
I pray thee tell Gayferos that you f'^
have seen my woe ;
That you have seen me w^eeping,
here in the Moorish tower,
While he is gay by night and day, ; ^m
in hall and lady's bower. . - J^^
" Seven summers have I waited — jl ^
seven winters long are spent : , /;j| ,^, ~ .^,
Yet word of comfort none he speaks, ' T ' ' ^^'^
nor token hath he sent ;
And if he is weary of iny love, and would have me wed a
Still say his love is true to him — nor time nor wrong can
change her ! "
The Knight on stirrup rising, bids her wipe her tears
" My love, no time for weeping, no peril save dela}- ;
Come, boldly spring, and lightl}' leap, — no listening
Moor is near us.
And by dawn of day we '11 be far away : '' — so spake the
She hath made the sign of the Cross divine, and an Ave
she hath said,
And she dares the leap both wide and deep — that lady
without dread ;
And he hath kissed her pale, pale cheek, and lifted her
Saint Denis speed the milk-white steed ! — no Moor their
path shall find.
V - -^^C%- ^
HE following is an attempt to render one of the most
admired of all the vSpanish ballads.
" En Paris esta Dona Alda, la esposa de Don Roldan,
Trecientas damas con ella, para la accompanar,
Todas visten un vestido, todas caiman un cal^ar," etc.
In its whole structure and strain, it bears a very remark-
able resemblance to several of our own old ballads, both
English and Scottish.
In Paris sits the lady that shall be Sir Roland's bride,
Three hundred damsels with her, her bidding to abide ;
2-8 XaD^ Bl^a's 5)ream
All clothed in the same fashion, both the mantle and the
All eating at one table, within her hall at noon :
All, save the Lady Alda, she is lady of them all, —
She keeps her place upon the dais, and they ser^'e her in
her hall ;
The thread of gold a hundred spin, the lawn a hundred
And a hundred play sweet melod}' within Alda's bower at
With the sound of their sweet playing, the lady falls
And she dreams a doleful dream, and her damsels hear
her weep :
There is sorrow in her slumber, and she waketh with a
And she calleth for her damsels, and swifth' they come
'* Now, what is it. Lady Alda " — (you may hear the
words they say) —
" Bringeth sorrow to thy pillow, and chaseth sleep
away ? ' '
" Oh, my maidens ! " quoth the lady, '' my heart it is full
I have dreamt a dream of evil, and can slumber never
%at>^ Bl5a'6 Bream 239
' ' For I was upon a mountain, in a bare and desert place,
x\nd I saw a mighty eagle, and a falcon he did chase ;
And to me the falcon came, and I hid it in my breast ;
But the mighty bird, pursuing, came and rent away my
And he scattered all the feathers, and blood was on his
And ever, as he tore and tore, I heard the falcon shriek.
Now read my vision, damsels, — now read my dream to
For my heart may well be heavy that doleful sight to
Out spake the foremost damsel was in her chamber there —
(You may hear the vrords she says) — "Oh! my lady's
dream is fair
The mountain is St. Denis' choir, and thou the falcon art ;
And the eagle strong that teareth the garment from thy
And scattereth the feathers, he is the Paladin,
That, when again he comes from Spain, must sleep thy
Then be blythe of cheer, my lady, for the dream thou
must not grieve.
It means but that thy bridegroom shall come to thee at
" If thou hast read my vision, and read it cunningly,"
Thus said the Lady Alda, " thou shalt not lack thy fee."
XaD^ BlDa'0 Bream
But woe is me for Alda ! there was heard, at morning
A voice of lamentation within that lady's bower ;
For there had come to Paris a messenger by night,
And his horse it was a- weary, and his visage it was white ;
And there 'sw^eeping in the chamber, and there 's silence
in the hall,
For Sir Roland has been slaughtered in the chase of
THE ADMIRAL GUARINOS.
THIS is a translation of the ballad which Don Quixote
and Sancho Panza, when at Toboso, overheard a
peasant singing, as he was going to his work at daybreak.
''Iba cantando," says Cerv^antes, "aquel romance que
" Mala la vistes Franceses la caga de Roncesvalles."
Thk day of Roncesvalles was a dismal da}^ for you,
Ye men of France, for there the lance of King Charles
was broke in two :
Ye well may curse that rueful field, for many a noble
In fray or fight, the dust will bite, beneath Bernardo's
There captured w^as Guarinos, King Charles' admiral ;
Seven Moorish kings surrounded him, and seized him for
their thrall ;
212 ttbe B^miral 6uarino6
Seven times, wlien all the chase was o'er, for Guarinos
lots they cast ;
Seven times Marlotes won the throw, and the Knight was
his at last.
Much joy had then Marlotes, and his captive much did
Above all the wealth of Araby, he was precious in his
Within his tent at evening, he made the best of cheer,
And thus, the banquet done, he spake unto his prisoner.
'^Now, for the sake of Alia, Lord Admiral Guarinos,
Be thou a Moslem, and much love shall ever rest between
Two daughters have I, — all the day thy handmaid one
The other (and the fairer far) by night shall cherish thee.
"The one shall be thy waiting-maid, thy weary feet to
To scatter perfumes on thy head, and fetch thee garments
The other — she the pretty — shall deck her bridal-bower,
And my field and my city they both shall be her dower.
"If more thou wishest, more I '11 give ; speak boldly what
thy thought is ; "
Thus earnestly and kindly to Guarinos said Marlotes :
XLbc BDmiral Ouarinos 243
But not a moment did he take to ponder or to pause,
Thus clear and quick the answer of the Christian captain
was : —
*'Now, God forbid! Marlotes, and Mary, his dear
That I should leave the faith of Christ, and bind me to
For women — I 've one wife in France, and I '11 wed no
more in Spain ;
I change not faith, I break not vow, for courtesy or gain.''
Wroth waxed King Marlotes, when thus he heard him
And all for ire commanded, he should be led away ;
Awa}' unto the dungeon-keep, beneath its vaults to lie,
With fetters bound in darkness deep, far off from sun and
With iron bands they bound his hands : that sore un-
Might well express his helplessness, doomed never more
Again, from cincture down to knee, long bolts of iron he
Which signified the Knight should ride on charger never
M4 tbc Bt)mirai (Suarinos
Three times alone, in all the year, it is the captive's
To see God's daylight bright and clear, instead of dungeon-
Three times alone they bring him out, like Sampson long
Before the Moorish rabble-rout to be a sport and show.
On three high feasts they bring him forth, a spectacle to
The feast of Pasque, and the great day of the Nativity,
And on that morn, more solemn 3'et, when maidens strip
And gladden mosque and minaret wnth the firstlings of
Days come and go of gloom and show : seven years are
come and gone ;
And now doth fall the festival of the holy Baptist John ;
Christian and Moslem tilts and jousts, to give it homage
And rushes on the paths to spread they force the sulky
Marlotes, in his joy and pride, a target high doth rear —
Below the Moorish knights must ride, and pierce it with
the spear ;
But 't is so high up in the sky, albeit much they strain.
No Moorish lance so far may fly, Marlotes' prize to gain.
Zbc SDmival Ouarinoa 245
Wroth waxed King Marlotes, when he beheld them fail ;
The whisker trembled on his lip, — his cheek for ire was
And heralds proclamation made, with trumpets, through
the town, —
''Nor child shall suck, nor man shall eat, till the mark
be tumbled down."
The cry of proclamation, and the trumpet's haughty
Did send an echo to the vault where the Admiral was
''Now, help me, God ! " the captive cries, " what means
this din so loud ?
O Queen of Heaven ! be vengeance given on these thy
haters proud !
" Oh ! is it that some Pagan gay doth Marlotes' daughter
And that they bear my scorned fair in triumph to his bed ?
Or is it that the day is come, — one of the hateful three, —
When they, with trumpet, fife, and drum, make heathen
game of me? "
These words the jailer chanced to hear, and thus to him
"These tabours. Lord, and trumpets clear, conduct no
bride to bed ;
246 ^be Bt)miral Guarinos
Nor has the feast come roiiud again, when he that has
Commands thee forth, thou foe of Spain, to glad the
people's sight !
"This is the joyful morning of John the Baptist's day,
When Moor and Christian feasts at home, each in his
But now our King commands that none his banquet shall
Until some knight, by strength or sleight, the spearman's
prize do win."
Then out and spake Guarinos, ''Oh! soon each man
Were I but mounted once again on my own gallant steed :
Oh ! were I mounted as of old, and harnessed cap-a-pie.
Full soon Marlotes' prize I 'dhold, whate'er its price may
" Give me my horse, mine old gray horse, so be he is not
All gallantly caparisoned, wdth plate on breast and head,
And give the lance I brought from France ; and if I win
My life shall be the forfeiture, — I '11 jaeld it on the
the BDmiral 6uarino6 247
The jailer wondered at his words : thus to the Knight
"Seven weary years of chains and gloom have little
humbled thee ;
There 's never a man in Spain, I trow, the like so w^ell
might bear ;
And if thou wilt, I w^ith thy vow will to the King repair."
The jailer put his mantle on, and came unto the King,
He found him sitting on the throne, within his listed ring ;
Close to his ear he planted him, and the story did begin,
How bold Guarinos vaunted him the spearman's prize to
That, were he mounted but once more on his own gallant
And armed with the lance he bore on Roncesvalles' day.
What never Moorish knight could pierce, he would pierce
it at a blow,
Or give with joy his life-blood fierce, at Marlotes' feet to
Much marvelling, then said the King, — ''Bring Sir
And in the grange go seek ye for his gray steed of worth ;
His arms are rusty on the wall, — seven years have gone,
Since that strong horse has bent his force to be a carrion
248 Zbc BDmiral (3uarino0
" Now this will be a sight indeed, to see the enfeebled
Essay to mount that ragged steed, and draw that rusty
And for the vaunting of his phrase he well deserves to die,
So, jailer, gird his harness on, and bring your champion
They have girded on his shirt of mail, his cuisses well
they 've clasped.
And they 've barred the helm on his visage pale, and his
hand the lance hath grasped,
And they have caught the old gray horse, the horse he
loved of yore.
And he stands pawing at the gate — caparisoned once
When the Knight came out, the Moors did shout, and
loudly laughed the King,
For the horse he pranced and capered, and furiously did
But Guarinos whispered in his ear, and looked into his
Then stood the old charger like a lamb, wnth a calm and
Oh ! lightly did Guarinos vault into the saddle-tree.
And slowly riding dow^n made halt before Marlotes' knee ;
Zbc BDmiral (3uarino6
Again the heathen laughed aloud, — "All hail, Sir
Knight," quoth he,
''Now do thy best, thou champion proud; thy blood I
look to see ! "
With that, Guarinos, lance in rest, against the scoffer
Pierced at one thrust his envious breast, and down his
turban trode :
Now ride, now ride, Guarinos — nor lance nor rowel spare —
Slay, slay, and gallop for thy life : the land of France
lies ^/lej^e !
THE LADY OF THE TREE.
THE following is one of the few old Spanish ballads
in which mention is made of the Fairies. The
sleeping child's being taken away from the arms of the
nurse, is a circumstance quite in accordance with our
^be XaDi^ ot tbe Zvcc 251
own tales of Fairyland ; but the seven years' enchant-
ment in the tree reminds us more of those oriental
fictions, the influence of which has stamped so many in-
delible traces on the imaginative literature of Spain.
The Knight had hunted long, and twilight closed the
His hounds were weak and weary, — his hawk had flow^n
He stopped beneath an oak, an old and mighty tree.
Then out the maiden spoke, and a comely maid was she.
The Knight 'gan lift his eye the shady boughs between ;
She had her seat on high, among the oak -leaves green ;
Her golden curls lay clustering above her breast of snow.
But, when the breeze was westering, upon it they did
" Oh, fear not, gentle Knight ! there is no cause for fear;
I am a good king's daughter, long years enchanted here ;
Seven cruel fairies found me, — they charmed a sleeping
Seven years their charm hath bound me, a damsel unde-
" Seven weary years are gone since o'er me charms they
I have dwelt here alone, — I have seen none but you,
252 ^be XaD^ ot tbe XLtcc
My seven sad years are spent ; — for Christ that died on
Thou noble Knight consent, and lead me from the wood !
'' Oh, bring me forth again from out this darksome
I dare not sleep for terror of the unholy race.
Oh, take me, gentle sir ! I '11 be a wife to thee, —
I '11 be thy lowly leman, if wife I may not be ! "
*' Till dawns the morning, wait, thou lovely lady ! here;
I '11 ask my mother straight, for her reproof I fear."
'' Oh, ill beseems thee. Knight ! " said she, that maid for-
''The blood of kings to flight, — a lady's tears to scorn ! "
He came when morning broke, to fetch the maid away,
But could not find the oak wherein she made her stay ;
All through the wilderness he sought in bower and
tree ; —
Fair lordlings, well ye guess what w^eary heart had he !
There came a sound of voices from up the forest glen.
The King had come to find her with all his gentlemen ;
They rode in mickle glee — a joyous cavalcade —
Fair in the midst rode she, but never word she said,
^be XaD^ of tbe Zvcc
Though on the green he knelt, no look on him she cast —
His hand was on the hilt ere all the train were past.
" Oh, shame to knightly blood ! Oh, scorn to chivalry !
I '11 die within the wood : — Xo eve niv death shall see ! "
THE AVENGING CHILDE.
THE ballad of the " Infante Vengaclor " is proved to be
of very high antiquity by certain particulars in its
language. The circumstance of the tiled floor, and some
others of the same sort, will not escape the notice of the
Hurrah ! hurrah ! avoid the way of the Avenging
His horse is swift as sands that drift, — an iVrab of the
His gown is twisted round his arm, — a ghastly cheek he
And in his hand, for deadly harm, a hunting-knife he
Avoid that knife in battle-strife : — that weapon short and
The dragon's gore hath bathed it o'er, seven times 'twas
steeped therein ;
XLbc UvcrxQim Cbil^e 255
Seven times the smith hath proved its pith, — it cuts a
coulter through ;
In France the blade was fashioned, — from Spain the
shaft it drew.
He sharpens it, as he doth ride, upon his saddle bow, —
He sharpens it on either side, he makes the steel to
He rides to find Don Quadros, that false and faitour
His glance of ire is hot as fire, although his cheek be
He found him standing by the King within the judgment-
He rushed within the barons' ring, — he stood before them
Seven times he gazed and pondered, if he the deed
should do ;
Eight times distraught he looked and thought — then out
his dagger flew.
He stabbed therewith at Quadros : — the King did step
It pierced his royal garment of purple wove with green ;
He fell beneath the canopy, upon the tiles he lay.
*'Thou traitor keen, what dost thou mean ? — thy King
why wouldst thou slay ? ' '
256 CTbe Bvenging Qbilt>c
''Now, pardon, pardon," cried the Cliilde, " I stabbed
not, King, at thee,
But him, that caitiff, blood-defiled, who stood beside thy
Eight brothers were we, — in the land might none more
loving be, —
They are all slain by Ouadros' hand, — they all are dead
but me !
" Good King, I fain w^ould wash the stain, — for vengeance
is my cry ;
This murderer with sw^ord and spear to battle I defy ! "
But all took part with Quadros, except one lovely May, —
Except the King's fair daughter, none word for him
She took their hands, she led them forth into the court
She bade the ring be guarded, — she bade the trumpet
From lofty place for that stern race the signal she did
throw : —
"With truth and right the Lord will fight, — together let
The one is up, the other down : the hunter's knife is bare ;
It cuts the lace beneath the face, — it cuts through beard
and hair ;
Zbc 'Bvcming Cbil^c
THE ONE IS UP, THE OTHER DOWN : THE HUNTER'S KNIFE IS BARE.
258 ^be Bvenging Cbilbc
Right soon that knife hath quenched his life, the head is
sundered sheer ;
Then gladsome smiled the Avenging Childe, and fixed it
on his spear.
But when the King beholds him bring that token of his
Nor scorn nor wrath his bosom hath: — "Kneel down,
thou noble youth ;
Kneel down, kneel down, and kiss my crown, I am no
more thy foe :
My daughter now may pay the vow she plighted long
ago ! "
HIS ballad is in the "Cancionero of Antwerp," 1555.
I should be inclined to suppose that
" More is meant than meets the ear, — "
— that some religious allegory is intended to be shadowed
Who had ever such adventure,
Holy priest, or virgin nun.
As befel the Count Arnaldos
At the rising of the sun ?
26o Count BrnalDoa
On his wrist the hawk was hooded,
Forth with horn and hound went he,
When he saw a stately galley
Sailing on the silent sea.
Sail of satin, mast of cedar.
Burnished poop of beaten gold, —
Many a morn you '11 hood your falcon
Bre you such a bark behold.
Sails of satin, masts of cedar,
Golden poops may come again.
But mortal ear no more shall listen
To yon gray -haired sailor's strain.
Heart may beat, and eye may glisten,
Faith is strong, and Hope is free.
But mortal ear no more shall listen
To the song that rules the sea.
When the gray-haired sailor chanted,
Every wind was hushed to sleep, —
lyike a virgin's bosom panted
All the wide reposing deep.
Bright in beauty rose the star-fish
From her green cave down below,
Right above the eagle poised him —
Holy music charmed them so.
Count BrnalDoB 2^1
''Stately galley! glorious galley !
God hath poured his grace on thee !
Thou alone mayst scorn the perils
Of the dread devouring sea !
'' False Almeria's reefs and shallows,
Black Gibraltar's giant rocks,
Sound and sand-bank, gulf and whirlpool,
All — my glorious galley mocks ! "
'' For the sake of God, our maker !
(Count Arnaldos' cry was strong) —
Old man, let me be partaker
Tn the secret of thy song ! "
'* Count Arnaldos ! Count Arnaldos !
Hearts I read, and thoughts I know ; —
Wouldst thou learn the ocean secret.
In our galley thou must go."
SONG FOR THE MORNING OF THE DAY
SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST.
'T^HE Marquis du Palmy said, many years ago, in his
* ingenious essay, ' ' Sur la vie privee des Frangaises, ' '
— " Les feux de la vSaint Jean, fondes sur ce qu'on lit
dans le Nouveau Testament (St. Luc. i., 14), que les na-
tions se rejouirent a la naissance de Saint Jean, sont
presque eteints par tout."
Both in the northern and the southern parts of Europe,
there prevailed of old a superstitious custom, of which
the traces probably linger to this day in many simple
districts. The young women rose on this sacred morn-
ing ere the sun was up, and collected garlands of flowers,
which they bound upon their heads ; and according as
dew remained upon these a longer or a shorter time, they
augured more or less favorably of the constancy of their
S)a^ ot St. 5obn tbe JSaptist 263
Another ceremony was to enclose a wether in a hut of
heath, and dance and sing round it, while she who de-
sired to have her fortune told stood by the door. If the
wether remained still, the omen was good. If he pushed
his horns through the frail roof or door, then the lover
That the day of the Baptist was a great festival among
the Spanish Moors, the reader may gather from many
passages in the foregoing ballads, particularly that of
"The Admiral Guarinos." There are two in the Cancio-
nero, which show that some part at least of the amorous
superstitions of the day were also shared by them. One
of them begins :
" I^a manana de San Juan, salen a coger guirnaldas,
Zara muger del Rey Chico, con sus mas queridas damas," etc.
The other :
" Iva manana de San Juan, a punta que alboreava,
Gran fiesta hazen los Moros por la vega de Granada,
Rebolviendo sus cavallos, y jugando con las lanzas,
Ricos pendones en ellas, labrados por las amadas.
El moro que amoves tiene^ senales dellos monstrava,
Y el que amiga no tenia, alii //c escara?migava,'' etc.
The following song is one that used to be sung by the
Spanish country-girls, as they went out to gather their
S>as ot SU Jobn tbe JSaptiat
dew and their flowers, on St. John's day in the morning.
There are many of the same kind ; such as that begin-
" Kste dia de San Juan
Ay de mi !
Que no solia ser ansi ! " etc.
And that other ;
' Yo no me porne guimalda
I^a maiiana de San Juan,
Pues mis amores se van," etc.
SONG FOR run MORNING OF THE DAY OF ST.
JOHN THE) BAPTIST.
COMB forth, come forth, my maidens, 't is the day of
good St. John,
It is the Baptist's morning that breaks the hills upon ;
And let us all go forth together, while the blessed day is
To dress with flowers the snow-white wether, ere the sun
has dried the dew.
Come forth, come forth, etc.
Come forth, come forth, my maidens, the woodlands all
And the little birds are singing the opening leaves be-
And let us all go forth together, to gather trefoil by the
Bre the face of Guadalquiver glows beneath the strength-
Come forth, come forth, etc.
Come forth, come forth, my maidens, and slumber not
The blessed, blessed morning of the holy Baptist's day ;
266 2)a^ ot St. 5obu tbc :fiSaptt6t
There 's trefoil on the meadow, and lilies on the lee,
And hawthorn blossoms on the bush, which you must
pluck with me.
Come forth, come forth, m}^ maidens, the air is calm and
And the violets blue far down ye '11 view, reflected in the
The violets and the roses, and the jasmines all together.
We '11 bind in garlands on the brow of the strong and
Come forth, come forth, my maidens, we '11 gather myrtle
And we shall learn from the dews of the fern, if our lads
will keep their vows :
If the wether be still, as we dance on the hill, and the
dew hangs sweet on the flowers,
Then we '11 kiss off the dew, for our lovers are true, and
the Baptist's blessing is ours.
Come forth, come forth, my maidens, 't is the day of
good St. John,
It is the Baptist's morning that breaks the hills upon ;
And let us all go forth together, while the blessed day is
To dress with flowers the snow-white wether, ere the sun
has dried the dew.
'T^HB following ballad is inserted in this place on ac-
*■ count of an allusion it contains to the ancient cus-
tom which forms the subject of the preceding one. It
seems to represent the frenzy of a Spanish knight, who
has L(one mad, in consequence of his mistress having
been carried off in the course of a Moorish foray.
" Arriba ! canes, arriba ! que rabia mala os mate,
E)ii jueves m.atays el puerco, y en viernes come^-s la came," etc.
"Off! off! ye hounds! — in madness an ill death be
your doom !
The boar ye killed on Thursday, on Friday ye consume 1
Ay me 1 and it is now seven years I in this valley go ;
Barefoot I wander, and the blood from out my nails
" I eat the raw flesh of the boar,— I drink his red blood
Seeking, wnth heavy heart and sore, my princess and
my dear :
'T was on the Baptist's morning the Moors rny princess
While she was gathering roses upon her father's ground. "
Fair Juliana heard his voice where by the Moor she lay,
Bven in the Moor's encircling arms she heard what he
did say ;
The lady listened, and she wept within that guarded
While her Moor lord beside her slept, the tears fell on
''while she was gathering roses upon her father's ground."
THE SONG OF THK GALLEY.
This is from a song in the '' Cancionero of Valencia,"
' Galeristas de Espana
Parad los remos." etc.
'* \/B mariners of Spain !
1 Bend strongly on your oars,
And bring my love again.
For he lies among the Moors !
*' Ye galleys fairly built,
Like castles on the sea,
Oh, great will be 5^our guilt,
If ye bring him not to me.
*^ The wind is blowing strong,
The breeze will aid your oars ;
Oh, swiftly fly along !
For he lies among the Moors !
^be Song ot tbe Galley 271
'' The sweet breeze of the sea
Cools every cheek but mine ;
Hot is its breath to me,
As I gaze upon the brine.
" Lift up, lift up your sail !
And bend upon your oars ;
Oh, lose not the fair gale,
For he lies among the Moors !
'' It is a narrow strait,
I see the blue hills over ;
Your coming I '11 await,
And thank you for my lover.
^' To Mary I will pray.
While ye bend upon your oars ;
'T will be a blessed day,
If ye fetch him from the Moors !
run WANDERING KNIGHT'S SONG
In the '' Cancionero of Antwerp," 1555,
' Mis arreos son las armas
Mi descanso el pelear."
ornaments are arms
My pastime is in war,
My bed is cold upon the wold,
My lamp you star :
My jourueyiugs are long,
My .slumbers short and broken ;
From hill to hill I wander still,
Kissing thy token.
I ride from land to land,
I sail from sea to sea ;
Some day more kind I fate may find.
Some night kiss thee !
" I RIDE FROM LAND TO LAND, I SAIL FROM SEA TO SEA."
"^ ' Ull.
fUL. -nmi. :3Z.
j^TTmrfif 3^ :^
Tim: nior 5ffir U "w^ssc^^
:.T V -'7-- -y-
T TESaiinntaaTISIElEaSSSBCSflES'iff' 3L :
Rise on the gentle breeze
And gain her lattice' height
O'er yon poplar trees,—
But be your echoes light
As hum of distant bees.
All the stars are glowing
In the gorgeous sky ;
In the stream scarce flowing
Mimic lustres lie :
Blow, gentle, gentle breeze !
But bring no cloud to hide
Their dear resplendencies ;
Nor chase from Zara's side.
Dreams bright and pure as these.
THE CAPTIVK KNIGHT AND THB BLACKBIRD
'T^HB following is a translation of a ballad in the
^ " Cancionero of Antwerp,'^ 1555.
" Pues el mes era de Mayo," etc.
There is one in the "Cancionero General of Valencia,"
15 1 1, of which this would seem to have been no more
than an expansion. The older is perhaps the finer of
the two. It is, at all events, so short, that I shall tran-
"Que por Mayo era por Mayo,
Cuando, los blandos calores,
Cuando los enamorados
Van servir a sus amores ;
Sino yo, triste Mezquino,
Que yago en estas prisiones.
Que ni se cuando es de dia
Ni menos cuando es de Noche ;
Sino por una avecilla
Que me cantaba al albor.—
Matumelo un ballestero
Delo Dios mal galardon !
THE CAPTIVE KNIGHT AND THE BLACKBIRD.
a )^T-» jg i^Q^-^ the}' say, the month of May, — 'Lis uow
1 the moons are bright ;
'T is now the maids, 'mong greenwood shades, sit with
their loves by night ;
'T is now the hearts of lovers true are glad the groves
'T is now^ they sit the long night through, and list the
''Woe dwells with me, in spite of thee, thou gladsome
month of May !
I cannot see what stars they be, I know not night from
There zcas a bird, whose voice I heard, — oh ! sweet my
small bird sung, —
I heard its tune w^hen night was gone, and up the morn-
"To comfort me in darkness bound, comes now no voice
of cheer ;
Long have I listened for the sound, there is no bird to
^be Captive Iknicjbt anO tbe JBlachbirD 279
Sweet bird ! lie had a cruel heart, whose steel thy bosom
A ruffian hand discharged the dart, that makes thee sing
"I am the vassal of my King, — it never shall be said
That I even hence a curse could fling against my liege's
But if the jailor slew the merle, no sin is in my word,
God look in anger on the churl that harmed my harmless
*'Oh, should some kindly Christian bring another bird
Thy tune I in his ear would sing, till he could sing like
But were a dove within my choice, my song would soon
For he would understand my voice, and fly to lyconore.
*'He would fly swiftly through the air, and though he
could not speak.
He 'd ask a file, which he could bear within his little
Had I a file, these fetters vile I from my wrist would
And see right soon the fair May moon shine on my lady's
2So Zbc Captive Iknt^bt an^ tbe JSlac?ibtrD
It chanced while a poor captive knight, within yon
Lamented thus the arrow's flight that stopped his black-
(Unknown to him) the King w^as near ; he heard him
through the wall ;
"Nay, since he has no merle to hear, 't is time his fetters
This is a translation from one of the ballads in Sepul-
veda's collection (Antwerp, 1580) ; the author's name
" E^n los tempos que me vi," etc., p. 219.
MY heart was happy when I turned from Burgos to
My heart that day w^as light and gay, — it bounded like a
I tnet a Palmer on the way, my horse he bade me rein ;
"I left Valladolid to-day, I bring thee news of pain !
The lady-love whom thou dost seek in gladness and in
Closed is her eye, and cold her cheek : I saw her on her
'' The priests went singing of the mass, — my voice their
song did aid ;
A hundred knights with them did pass to the burial of the
And damsels fair went weeping there, and many a one did
Poor cavalier ! he is not here — 'tis well he 's far away.^*
I fell when thus I heard him speak, — upon the dust I lay,
I thought my heart would surely break, — I wept for half
When evening came I rose again, the Palmer held my
And swiftly rode I o'er the plain to dark Valladolid :
I came unto the sepulchre where they my love had laid, —
I bowed me down beside the bier, and there my moan I
" Oh, take me, take me to thy bed, I fain would sleep with
My love is dead, my hope is fled,— there is no joy for me ! "
I heard a sweet voice from the tomb, — I heard her voice
so clear, —
' ' Rise up, rise up, my knightly love ! thy weeping well
I hear ;
Rise up and leave this darksome place, — it is no place for
God yet will send thee helpful grace, in love and chivalry.
Though in the grave my bed I have, for thee my heart is
'T will ease my heart if thou depart, — thy peace may God
restore ! ' '
DRAGUT, THE CORSAIR.
This celebrated corsair became ultimately High Ad-
miral of the Turkish fleet, and was slain at thegreatsiege
of Malta, A.D. 1565.
OH, swiftly, very swiftly, they up the Straits have
Oh, swiftly flies the corsair, andswift the cross comes on ;
The cross upon 3'on banner, that streams unto the breeze,
It is the sign of victory — the cross of the Maltese.
" Row, row, my slaves, " quoth Dragut, — "the knights,
the knights are near.
Row, row, my slaves, row swiftly, the starlight is too
2>ragut, tbe Cocsaic
The stars they are too bright, and he that means us well,
He harms us when he trims his light — yon Moorish sen-
There came a wreath of smoke from out a culverine.
The corsair's poop it broke, and it sunk into the brine :
Down Moor and fettered Christian went beneath the bil-
But hell had work for Dragut yet, and he swam safe
One only of the captives, a happy man is he.
The Christian sailors see him, yet struggling in the sea ;
They hear the captive praying, — they hear the Christian
And swiftly from the galley a saving rope was flung.
It was a Spanish knight, who had long been in Algiers,
From ladies high descended, and noble cavaliers ;
But forced, for a season, a false Moor's slave to be —
Upon the shore his gardener, his galley-slave at sea.
©lagut, tbc Corsait
But now his heart is dancing, — he sees the Spanish land,
And all his friends advancing to meet him on the strand ;
His heart was full of gladness, albeit his eyes ran o'er,
For he wept as he stepped upon the Christian shore.
COUNT ALARCOvS AND THE INFANTA SOLISA.
MR. BOUTBRWBK has analyzed this ])allad, and
commented upon it at some length, in his '' History
of Spanish Literature." (See Book i., Section i.) He be-
stows particular praise upon a passage, which the reader
will find attempted in the fourth line of the thirty-first
stanza of the following version : —
" Dedes me a^a este hijo amamare por despedida."
'^ What modern poet," says he, " would have dared to im-
agine that trait, at once so natural and so touching?"
Mr. Bouterwek seems to be of opinion that the story of
the ballad had been taken from some prose romance of
chivalry ; but I have not been able to find any trace of it.
COUNT ALARCOS AND THE
ALONE, as washer wont, she sate, —
within her bower alone ;
Alone and very desolate Solisa made
Lamenting for her flower of life, that
it should pass away,
And she he never w^ooed to wife, nor
see a bridal da}^
Thus said the sad Infanta, — " I w411 not hide my grief,
I '11 tell my father of my wrong, and he will yield relief."
Count BlarcoB anD the Ifntanta SoUea 289
The King, when he beheld her
near, "Alas! my child,"
"What means this melancholy
cheer ? — reveal thy grief to
"Good King," she said, "my J
mother was buried long /
She left me to thy keeping, none ^^
else my grief shall know ; "^
I fain would have a husband, 't is
time that I should wed ;
Forgive the words I utter, with
mickle shame they 're said. ' '
'T was thus the King made an- ' ^
swer, — "This fault is none^^^'
of mine, , ,"$
You to the Prince of Hungary <^-^^^
your ear would not incline ;
Yet round us here where lives
your peer ? — nay, name him
if you can,
Except the Count Alarcos, and
he 's a married man."
290 Count Blarcos an^ tbc IFntanta Soltsa
''Ask Count Alarcos, if of yore his word he did not
To be my husband evermore, and love me day and
If he has bound him in new vows, old oaths he cannot
Alas ! I 've lost a loyal spouse, for a false lover's sake."
The good King sate confounded in silence for some space,
At length he made his answer, with very troubled face :
" It was not thus your mother gave counsel you should
You 've done much wrong, my daughter ; we 're asham-
ed, both I and you.
•'If it be true that you have said, our honor 's lost and
And while the Countess is in life, remeed for us is none :
Though justice were upon our side, ill-talkers would not
Speak, daughter, for your mother 's dead, whose counsel
eased my care."
" How can I give you counsel ? — but little wit have I ;
But certes, Count Alarcos may make this Countess die :
Let it be noised that sickness cut short her tender life.
And then let Count Alarcos come and ask me for his wife,
Count Blarcoa auD tbe flntanta Soliea 291
What passed betweeu us long ago,
of that be nothing said ; y^
Thus none shall our dishonor know, / ^ ijJK /
in honor I shall wed. " , / ^ x v ill \ \
The Count was standing with his
friends — thus in the midst he
''What fools be men ! — what boots
our paiu for comely woman's
I loved a fair one long ago; — though
I 'm a married man,
Sad memory I can ne'er forego, how
life an d love began. ' '
While yet the Count was speaking,
the good King came full near ;
He made his salutation with very
*' Come hither. Count Alarcos, and
dine with me this day.
For I have something secret, I in
your ear must say."
The King came from the chapel,
when he had heard the mass ;
With him the Count Alarcos did to
his chamber pass ;
292 Count Blarcos an^ tbe Unianta Solisa
Full nobly were they served there, by pages many a one ;
When all were gone, and they alone, 't was thus the
King begun : —
"What news be these, Alarcos, that you your word did
To be a husband to my child, and love her day and night?
If more between you there did pass, yourself ma}- know
But shamed is my gray-head — alas ! — and scorned Solisa's
" I have a heavy word to speak, — a lady fair doth lie
Within my daughter's rightful place, and certes ! she
Let it be noised that sickness cut short her tender life,
Then come to woo my daughter, and she shall be your
What passed between you long ago, of that be nothing
Thus none shall my dishonor know, — in honor you shall
Thus spake the Count Alarcos, — " The truth I '11 not deny,
I to the Infanta gave my troth, and broke it shamefully ;
I feared my King would ne'er consent to give me his fair
But, oh ! spare her that 's innocent — avoid that sinful
Count aiarcos anC> tbc Ifufanta ivoliea 293
**She dies ! she dies ! " the King
replies ; — " from thine own sin
If guiltless blood must wash the
blot which stains the blood of
Bre morning dawn her life must
end, and thine must be the
Else thou on shameful block must
bend : thereof is no remeed."
"Good King, my hand thou mayst
command, else treason blots
my name !
I '11 take the life of my dear wife —
(God ! mine be not the blame!)
A-las ! that young and sinless heart
for others' sin should bleed !
Good King, in sorrow I depart." —
' ' May God your errand speed ! ' '
In sorrow he departed, dejectedly
The weary journey from that place
unto his own abode ;
He grieved for his fair Countess,
dear as his life was she ;
294 Count aiarcos an^ the IFnfanta Solisa
Sore grieved he for that lady, and
for his children three.
The one was yet an infant upon its
For though it had three nurses, it liked
her milk the best ;
The others were young children, that
had but little wit.
Hanging about their mother's knee
while nursing she did sit.
" Alas ! " he said, when he had come
within a little space, —
'' How shall I brook the cheerful look
of my kind lady's face ?
To see her coming forth in glee to
meet me in my hall,
When she so soon a corpse must be,
and I the cause of all ! "
Just then he saw her at the door with
all her babes appear
(The little page had run before to tell
his lord w^as near) ;
"Now welcome home, my lord, my
life ! — Alas ! you droop your head :
Tell, Cour.t Alarcos, tell your wife,
what makes your eyes so red ? "
Count Blarco6 anO tbc Ifnfanta Soliea 295
'* I '11 tell you all — I '11 tell you all : it is not yet the hour ;
We '11 sup together in the hall — I '11 tell you in your
The lady brought forth what she had, and down beside
him sate ;
He sate beside her pale and sad, but neither drank nor ate.
The children to his side were led (he loved to have them
Then on the board he laid his head, and out his tears did
"I fain would sleep — I fain would sleep," the Count
Alarcos said :
Alas ! be sure, that sleep Vv^as none that night within
They came together to the bower where they were used
None with them but the little babe that was upon the
The Count had barred the chamber doors — they ne'er
were barred till then ;
*' Unhappy lady," he began, " and I most lost of men ! "
"Now, speak not so, my noble lord, my husband, and
my life !
Unhappy never can she be that is Alarcos' wife."
"Alas! unhappy lady, 't is but little that you know.
For in that very word you ' ve said is gathered all your woe.
2gG Count Blarcos anD tbe Ifutanta Boliea
*' Long since I loved a lad}^ — long
since I oaths did plight,
To be that lady's husband, to love her
day and night ;
Her father is our lord the King, to him
the thing is known,
And now, that I the news should
bring ! she claims me for her
*' Alas ! my love ! — alas ! my life ! —
the right is on their side ;
Kre 1 had seen your face, sweet wife,
she was betrothed my bride ;
But, oh ! that I should speak the word,
since in her place you lie.
It is the bidding of our Lord, that you
this nisrht must die."
*' Are these the wages of my love, so
lowdy and so leal ?
MJ \ Oh, kill me not, thou noble Count,
when at thy foot I kneel !
But send me to my father's house,
where once I dwelt in glee,
^/^i^>i , There will I live a lone chaste life, and
rear my children three."
Count Blarcos anD tbe ITntanta Soliea 297
''It may not be, — miue oath is
strong, — ere dawn of day you
"Oh! well 't is seen how all alone
upon the earth am I ;
My father is an old frail man, — my
mother 's in her grave, —
And dead is stout Don Garci — alas !
my brother brave !
'' 'T was at this coward King's com-
mand they slew my brother dear,
And now I 'm helpless in the land: —
it is not death 1 fear.
But loth, loth am I to depart, and
leave my children so.
Now let me lay them to my heart, and
kiss them ere I go."
' ' Kiss him that lies upon thy breast —
the rest thou mayst not see."
" I fain would say an Ave." — " Then
say it speedily. ' '
She knelt her down upon her knee :
'' Oh, Lord ! behold my case ;
Judge not my deeds, but look on me
in pity and great grace."
29S Count Blarcos an^ tbe IFnfanta Soliea
When she had made her orison, up from her knees she
" Be kind, Alarcos, to our babes, and pray for my repose ;
And now give me my boy once more upon my breast to
That he may drink one farewell drink before my breast
"Why would you waken the poor child? you see he is
Prepare, dear wife, there is no time, the dawn begins to
"Now hear me, C^unt Alarcos! I give thee pardon
I pardon thee for the love's sake wherewith I 've loved
" But they have not my pardon, the King and his proud
The curse of God be on them, for this unchristian
I charge them with my dying breath, ere thirty days be
To meet me in the realm of death, and at God's awful
He drew a kerchief round her neck, he drew it tight and
Until she lay quite stiff and cold her chamber floor along ;
Count Blarco6 auD tbe ITntanta SoUea 299
He laid lier then within the sheets,
and, kneeling by her side.
To God and Mary Mother in misery
Then called he for his esquires — oh
deep was there dismay,
When they into the chamber came
and saw her how she lay :
Thus died she in her innocence, a lad;>
void of wrong —
But God took heed of their offence, —
His vengeance stayed not long.
Within twelve days, in pain and dole,
the Infanta passed away.
The cruel King gave up his soul upon
the twentieth day ;
Alarcos followed ere the moon had
made her round complete ;
Three guilty spirits stood right soon
before God's judgment-seat.
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